JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South Africa are fired up to perform in the dead-rubber fourth test against England and will “play hard” as they try to salvage battered pride, young Proteas fast bowler Kagiso Rabada said on Tuesday.
England have wrapped up the series as they take an unassailable 2-0 lead into the final test starting in Pretoria on Friday, but the 20-year-old Rabada said the match was an opportunity for South Africa to rebuild.
“There is another game to play and we have to look to the future,” he told reporters.
“We are trying to stay positive, there is another match and we are going to rock up and play hard. We are not going to throw in the towel, it’s unlike us to do that.”
Rabada feels South Africa’s woes, which centre largely around their misfiring batsmen, will pass and that the team can regain the form that took them to the top of the world test rankings before being deposed by India this month.
“There are always going to be ups and downs in cricket and in life,” he said.
“The good times will come and we will look back at the tough times and think ‘look where we were and look where we are now’. “It happens to everyone, unfortunately it’s happening to us right now but we have to stick together as a team and stay positive.”
The series has been a dismal failure for the Proteas but one of the few positives has been the continued development of Rabada, who took career-best figures of 5-78 in England’s first innings in the last test at the Wanderers.
“It’s a memorable achievement and milestone,” he said. “I try to stick to my game-plans and the team’s game-plans and luckily it paid off.” South Africa have not won any of their last nine test matches, their longest winless run since 1964-65.
(Reporting by Nick Said, editing by Ed Osmond)