Senior paceman Dale Steyn said on Monday his fellow quick Kagiso Rabada would bring a lot of “heat” to the South African bowling attack in this week’s Test series-opener against Australia in Perth.
Steyn, the veteran of the Proteas’ new-ball attack with 416 wickets in 84 Tests, gave the Australian batsmen a sense of what they will be facing in the first of three Tests starting at the WACA Ground on Thursday.
“A lot of heat,” the 33-year-old told reporters when asked what to expect from Rabada, who is 21.
“He’s really quick and he’s got a great head on his shoulders. He’s always looking to learn and his record (29 wickets at 24.44 from eight Tests) is pretty amazing for such a young guy, especially a bowler.
“Because you only see bowlers tend to come into their stripes at maybe 26 or 27, especially fast bowlers once they’ve learned their trade.”
Only current Test bowler Vernon Philander (30.98) and former all-rounder Mike Procter (36.93) can claim a better strike rate among South African bowlers than Rabada’s current strike of a wicket every 38.93 deliveries.
Steyn also had no hesitation in declaring his likely new-ball partner was much faster than he is.
“It doesn’t feel like he’s been in this team for a long time but it’s actually almost three years now so he’s learned a lot and he’s an incredible talent,” Steyn said.
“I (attribute much of that) to the culture and the environment in this team, I think he’s got about 10 years of experience in three years, which is really great.
“I’m excited to see what he can do because in Adelaide the other night he was bowling really quick and he was landing the ball exactly where he wanted to. The guy’s got a lot of pace.”