South African pacer Kagiso Rabada put up an all-round show in his debut for the Punjab Kings against the Kolkata Knight Riders on Friday, April 1, 2022. The bowler had joined the PBKS camp just a couple of days ahead of the first game, eventually missing it due to quarantine regulations. He was on national duty before flying to Mumbai for the Tata Indian Premier League 2022.
Rabada was handed the Punjab Kings cap by Head Coach Anil Kumble ahead of the match against Kolkata Knight Riders, the team’s second match this season.
First, he appeared with the bat and scored 25 (16), a cameo that pushed the team to a total that gave the bowlers a chance to defend the team’s score. Next, with the ball, he finished with figures 3-0-23-1, claiming the important wicket of KKR opener Ajinkya Rahane.
On Rabada’s first game
The pacer opened up about his first game for PBKS, his performance and thoughts on the team. “I think it was good to get the first one out of the way personally. It's not the way anyone of us would have liked for it to pan out. However it's fine, we just put it in the back of our minds,” Rabada said, assuring that he and the team are going to look ahead at winning the coming games.
He was also all praise for his teammates and identifies what the members of the Punjab Kings’ unit can bring to the table on their best day. “We've got too much talent and skill and hard work in this changeroom so we'll definitely be back,” Rabada said.
On a glimpse of Rabada, the batter
His stint at the crease may have been short, but extremely impactful in the context of the game. His 16-ball 25 pushed the team to a score that would require a run rate of more than six runs an over to chase down. His four fours and a six in this innings also spoke of the destructive capabilities he possesses with the bat.
He was definitely happy with his contribution with the bat. “Yeah, I mean, you want to score as many runs as possible. That’s why we practise, to make sure that we contribute in all disciplines,” Rabada affirmed his satisfaction on contributing with the bat.
He also emphasised on providing his team the best chance to win by giving his all in a game. “That’s at least what I try to do because that’s me giving the team the best chance to win. It comes only if I can contribute in all three disciplines, so that’s all I try to do.”
On chasing vs defending
Rabada mentioned how Wankhede, where the team faced KKR, is known to be a paradise for the chasing team. However, he also drew attention to having a bankable plan whether or not the team wins the toss or bats in favourable conditions.
“It seems as if more sides chasing have won, but with that being said, we need to believe in ourselves to defend if it is required to do so. That’s just the game of cricket. Of course, depending on conditions we would like to win the toss and do what is required and what is necessary. But if we don’t win the toss, then we have to dig deep and try to pull the rabbit out of the hat,” he said with a smile.