Kagiso Rabada, who concluded the T20 World Cup as South Africa's most expensive bowler and with the fewest wickets among their frontline quicks, has admitted that he "wasn't up to scratch."
South Africa pacer attributed the performance decline to exhaustion and claimed that attempting to fight through the fatigue had the opposite result of what he had intended.
"I am not one to make any excuses - I wasn't up to scratch, I had a disappointing tournament. I didn't feel that great in terms of energy. I still tried my best but I felt like the harder I tried, it just wasn't coming out," he said ahead of South Africa's departure for their three-match Test series in Australia.
"You can feel it in the intensity of your play. Your intensity is not where you want it to be, and it catches up with you over time. Playing international cricket, you want to be rather high-intensity more often than not," Rabada added.
Only Keshav Maharaj has bowled more overs than Rabada despite the fact that he has only participated in 26 of South Africa's 39 games across all forms so far this year. In addition, he participated in 13 IPL games but not in any other T20 competition. Prior to the Australia trip, Rabada was also excused from participating in any domestic first-class games as part of his workload management. He agreed with that decision because he "felt like I needed to rest".
"It is a concern with the amount of cricket that's being played. It needs to be managed. There need to be planning to be made accordingly," he said.
"If it's happened twice [after the group-stage exit in 2021 too], it's something that seriously needs to be considered. That's what I have realised, and [the] management have realised as well. We need to come up with some plans - not just for me, but for all players," Rabada said.
Australia pitches are renowned for their speed and bounce, but Rabada said they are "not sure what to anticipate" and that he thinks they would be bowler-friendly after Australia declared on 598 for 4 against West Indies in their season-opening Test in Perth.
"In Australia, you get some bounce. They are good wickets, but you generally get a bit of nip. It can swing at times, but not too much. The bounce and the pace is your ally. But at the same time, they are good wickets to bat on because the bounce is so true. I am excited to play some cricket, and to test myself," he said. (ANI)