‘I need to have a beer with him’ – Rabada praises ‘legendary’ Anderson after another masterclass | Sport
Kagiso Rabada’s name might be on most cricket fans’ lips as a bowler firmly in his prime, but he was starkly reminded too that some old dogs truly still have a nasty bite.
The 27-year-old Proteas bowling kingpin has – at least after the opening day of the second Test against England – been overshadowed by the enduring class of 40-year-old Jimmy Anderson.
The legendary seamer, now boasting 661 Test wickets in 173 appearances, was irrepressible at his home ground at Old Trafford in claiming figures of 3/32 as the South Africans’ decision to bat first was thoroughly undermined.
So compelling was his skill and control that Rabada admitted he needs to make a point of sharing a cold one with him.
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“Having a beer with him after this series and asking him a few questions is probably something I’ll need to do,” said the Proteas quick.
“He’s had a remarkable career. He’s still getting wickets at his age and is an absolute legend of the game. Importantly, he keeps proving why he is. He’s a phenomenal player.”
However, given the debate of the workloads having to be shouldered by players like Rabada, who came into the series on the back of an ankle ligament problem, it would be disingenuous not to point out that Anderson’s conditioning has been significantly boosted by him not being a multi-format player anymore.
Nonetheless, the continued impact of that management decision can’t be denied.
“One has to probably point out that just playing Tests helps [with his body]. There’s longevity,” said Rabada.
“In the same breath, England actually still play quite a lot of Test cricket in calendar years, so he’s done remarkably well still.”
Rabada himself started relatively well in his spell in England’s reply, nabbing the key wicket of Joe Root, before tailing off and leaking a few runs.
He’ll certainly hope for Anderson-esque control on a vital second day.