South Africa fast bowler Kagiso Rabada admitted he "wasn't up to scratch" in a disappointing time at the T20 World Cup last month in Australia. In the tournament where South Africa lost to Netherlands by 13 runs to make a shock exit from the race to the semi-finals, Rabada had a forgettable time.
He was their most expensive bowler (9.44 economy rate and averaged 75.5), and took fewest wickets (two) among their frontline fast-bowlers. He added that unimpressive performance in the T20 World Cup was also down to trying to push despite fatigue and led to the opposite reaction on his mind and body.
"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. 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," he was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo ahead of South Africa's departure for their three-match Test series in Australia.
This was second successive time that South Africa crashed out of T20 World Cup in the Super 12 stage, a problem which Rabada feels has to be solved ahead of the 2024 edition, to be held in West Indies and USA. South Africa last entered a semi-final of T20 World Cup in 2014.
"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," he added.
Rabada had been rested from playing in domestic first-class matches ahead of the Test tour to Australia to manage his workload. He conceded that player workload is an issue in the current cricketing landscape.
"It is a concern with the amount of cricket that's being played. It needs to be managed. There need to be plans to be made accordingly." He was also unsure of how Australian pitches, known traditionally for their pace and bounce, would behave after the hosts posted 598/4 against West Indies in their first Test of home summer.
"It's a game of cricket. As much as the nerves and passion comes in - which is incredibly important - it's a game of cricket. It's not as intimidating as people make it out to be. It can sound much more intimidating than it actually is.""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."