Getting Kagiso Rabada
fit for the first Test against England on August 17, is “the biggest priority for our Test side,” according to coach Mark Boucher
. Rabada missed the third T20I
against England and both matches against Ireland after injuring ligaments in his left ankle but South Africa hope to have him ready for the red-ball leg of the tour.
“KG bowled a bit today and he will be bowling a bit tomorrow. He seems to be fine. But we will try and work him back. His loads are a little bit low at the moment but we will do everything in our power to try and get him fit for the first Test,” Boucher said after South Africa swept Ireland 2-0
“That’s the biggest priority for our Test side – to get KG firing. We know what an important part of the team he is. That’s our biggest goal: to try and get him fit for the first Test.”
Even before his injury, Rabada has not looked at his best recently. After being rested for the ODI series, he returned to play two T20Is, bowled seven overs across the two matches and took 1 for 75. Before that, Rabada played in South Africa’s series in India and bowled 13 overs in four matches with a return of 2 for 86. He has not played Test cricket since South Africa’s tour of New Zealand in February, where he was their leading wicket-taker, and missed the series against Bangladesh which clashed with the IPL.
Should Rabada not recover in time for the first Test, it would be a second major blow to South Africa. They are already without white-ball captain and Test vice-captain Temba Bavuma
on this tour, as he recovers from an elbow injury. They have six other seamers in their Test squad: Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje (who has not played Tests in more than a year), Marco Jansen, Duanne Olivier, Lutho Sipamla and Glenton Stuurman.