Good on you Rabada
Good on you KG! That was my first thought when I saw his inspired IPL auction price. Not far shy of a million dollars per season at Kagiso Rabada's age is life-changing and I couldn't be happier for this quality individual.
On the subject of life-changing, let's dig a little deeper. The IPL is invigorating in every sense. To experience the IPL in India is something very special. I have commentated on a few seasons and every year it is an event that is captivating.
It will initially be a shock to a 21-year-old fast bowler, even though he has been to India before. It is like nothing he will have experienced. The emotion, the adulation, the fascination, the masses! He will be eyes wide open. The first thing that will smack him right between those eyes is the way the IPL train chuggs along with millions scrutinising the team's every move. The overseas superstars of course always attract extraordinary focus and that will be both exhilarating and mentally draining.
It won't be a walk in the park for Kagiso. The hustle of the IPL off the field can be very demanding. Travelling all over India is particularly challenging and a lengthy and tiring process. Flight times are erratic and often at ungodly hours and bus treks are frequently insufferable. The tracks will be flat for a quick, the expectations will be very high, and the support, if doing well, fanatical.
If you have concerns about KG being run into the ground during his available weeks at the IPL, let me allay those fears. The two coaching brains at the Delhi Daredevils are head coach Paddy Upton and mentor Rahul Dravid, a couple of sensible blokes if ever there were.
The opportunity he will have to live with other brilliant players will broaden his career outlook. I firmly believe that the IPL has been superb in the way that players have not only learnt from other guys they would never have met but the lifelong friendships secured are priceless.
I have said it on air. KG is a superstar. He has performed magnificently for South Africa and I will never forget the reaction of people like Shane Warne, Mark Taylor, Michael Clarke and Kevin Pietersen when they witnessed his Man of the Match demolition job recently during the first test in Perth. They were all gobsmacked.
KG though is not the finished product. His very comfortable clean action is a gift that should compliment longevity in the game. His short game at times however is inconsistent ... and believe me that is good news. Just imagine how magnificent this lithe, long-levered athlete will be with more experience and further advancement of his craft.
The IPL will be an outstanding venture for Kagiso Rabada and the fast forward all-round learning curve he will experience will further polish this diamond.