Dubai: Kagiso Rabada, the current Purple Cap holder in the Indian Premier League (IPL), is convinced his Delhi Capitals can make quite the impression when the business end of the competition starts in the first half of November.
The Shreyas Iyer-led Capitals are just one of two teams that are yet to win a title during the past 12 editions of the cash-rich IPL. The Capitals — whose best came last season as they qualified for the play-offs for the first time in seven years — are the only team that is yet to appear in an IPL final.
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But Rabada — a one-time topper in the ICC ODI and Test bowler rankings in 2018 — is convinced that all this is about to change when the curtain falls on the IPL with the final scheduled for November 10.
“All along it has been a team effort getting to this point and being at the top of the standings. Nothing will change for us hereon. It will still need a collective effort to win the trophy,” Rabada told media during a Zoom interaction, on Thursday.
“We’ve had seven wins and seven different match-winners [man of the match awards]. That just indicates that all of us are hungry to win,” the 25-year-old added.
Rabada was bought by the then Delhi Daredevils for the 2017 IPL, and then again purchased at the auction by the new Capitals in January 2018. However, the seamer was ruled out for the entire season due to a back injury.
This year has been so different as the Johannesburg native has zoomed to the top of the wicket-taking chart to wear the Purple Cap with a haul of 21 wickets in 10 matches he’s played so far. Kings XI Punjab’s Mohammad Shami is in second with 16 wickets, while Mumbai Indians’ Jasprit Bumrah and Royal Challengers Bangalore’s Yuzvendra Chahal are joint third with 15 wickets apiece.
“If I can pick up the man of the match award and we can win the trophy, then there’s nothing like that. Right now, I only have the Purple Cap. Perhaps, I am the one who has been lucky to be among the wickets. The others like Axar [Patel], [Ravichandran] Ashwin, [Anrich] Nortje and Marcus [Stoinis] have all contributed to this team being successful so far,” Rabada said.
“Various guys have been putting their hands up at various times. The end result is that everyone has done their job when needed. So it is all about a team effort. Imagine a player like Ajinkya Rahane sitting out. That only indicates how tough it has been to have the best team out there.”
Since his debut for South Africa in limited-overs cricket in November 2014, Rabada has come a long way. By January 2018, he had topped both the ICC ODI bowler rankings and the ICC Test bowler rankings while just being 22 years old. In July 2018, he became the youngest bowler to take 150 wickets in Tests (at 23 years and 50 days).