Australia are paaping over Proteas pace ace Kagiso Rabada and are sukkelling to come up with a plan for their batters to manage him.
The 21-year-old has made a
huge impact in his eight-match Test career, taking 29 wickets at an average of 24.44.
His numbers are impressive, winning him the SA Cricketer of the Year Award in his debut international season.
But it’s what he does when he lets rip at the crease that has the Aussies on the backfoot ahead of next month’s three-Test series Down Under.
And the hosts, known for k@kpraat, are already trying to get into his head.
“He’s fast, he’s strong” says Aussie vice-captain David Warner, while allrounder Mitchell Marsh says “he’s quick, that’s for sure”.
Warner continues, saying “he’s just got that rhythm about him, almost ambles to the crease, great rhythm to the crease and then just lets it rip!”
Australian coach Darren “Boof”
Lehmann has certainly worked on his plans to cancel out the threat Rabada poses in the Test series, starting at the Waca on November 3.
“He’s tall, he bowls fast and swings it. He’s also strong and he keeps coming at you,” Lehmann says.
“He is one that we are going to have to make bowl lots of overs and negate him with the new ball.”
Rabada actually enjoys the banter from the Aussies.
He says: “Sometimes you can be going through the motions until you’re
challenged, and then you wake up.
“But yeah, sometimes something can spark you and you become something else.”
The Aussies, though, are just trying to take the focus off of the fact that they don’t know who can face him with the new ball.
Coach Lehmann says: “I think you can look at him (Usman Khawaja) as a one, two or three. It depends on the make-up of the side.
“At the end of the day the captain will decide where the batting order lies and we’ll just give him the side we think is the best prepared and the best team to win that particular game.”
At three, Khawaja enjoyed a prolific home summer against New Zealand and the West Indies, smashing a century in three tests and adding a fourth ton on tour in New Zealand in February.