India tour is going to be tough: Kagiso Rabada

After a sensational ODI debut against Bangladesh in July, South Africa’s new pace sensation Kagiso Rabada is now looking forward to his first outing in India starting early next month. South Africa will play three T20 internationals, five ODIs and four Tests during their 72-day tour and Rabada said it is going to be a tough tour. “It’s going to be a tough tour, as tours to India always are,” Rabada, who picked up a hat-trict on ODI debut against Bangaldesh, told the daily SportsDay on Thursday.

“There is always a lot of hype around this tour and lots of people will be watching but I’m feeling calm because I’m surrounded by experienced players. “I know guys like AB de Villiers, Morne Morkel, Faf du Plessis and Dale Steyn have all been there lots of times. Even Marchant de Lange and (Chris) Morris have played there in the Indian Premier League (IPL), so they know what to expect,” added Rabada. The 20-year-old from Johannesburg felt that Indian wickets would favour the batsmen, unlike those in neighbouring Bangladesh. “In South Africa you get lateral movement and steeper bounce, whereas in India it skids on and that is why your margin for error is less,” said Rabada, who made his T20 debut against Australia at Adelaide in November last year. Commenting on the passion for cricket in India which he described as “a religion” while watching it on TV, Rabada said experiencing it first hand was going to be “something else”. “But it’s not about the hype, it’s about winning and that’s the motivation. We don’t want to go there and lose,” he said. Teammate Marchant de Lange, who has been with the Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL, said he would use that stint as well as his experience of playing for the Guyana Amazon Warriors in the Caribbean Premier League when he plays in the three T20s against India starting on October 2. “The IPL experience will definitely help me, but each time you go back to India, you learn something new,” De Lange told the daily. “I’ve been there and know the wickets and what the bounce will be like. I’m mentally and physically prepared for it. “In the shorter format, and not just in India, the key is to get your length right and you must assess the batters as quickly as possible. That’s what I picked up in the IPL and in the Caribbean,” he said. De Lange said he had set himself the goal of striking up front and picking up as many wickets as possible during the Indian games.