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June 9, 2019

Kagiso Rabada

Southampton, England, UK

Q. Kagiso, obviously the plan for South Africa coming into this World Cup was to have a full fully-fit pace attack. You are kind of the last man standing in that and you will face a West Indies team that I guess is a fully-fit pace attack. Is there a bit of jealousy that they are coming in looking so fit and firing when that could have been your plan?
KAGISO RABADA: I wouldn't say it's jealousy. I think that we have to deal with what we have. There's no point in complaining about it. Unfortunately, you know, we've had quite a few problems in this tournament regarding injury.

So we've had to work our way around it and we're going to have to work our way around it for the next game. There's no point in complaining.

Q. Kagiso, in that last game against India you, at the start, seemed to discover some fire and real passion. Where did that come from? And do you feel that that is sustainable, that you can reproduce that same sort of form tomorrow?
KAGISO RABADA: Well, the World Cup is a big stage. Playing against India is a big stage. And we'd just lost two games on the bounce and there was a lot of emphasis on that game, you know.

It's a game that I really hoped that we would win. There was a lot on that, on that game. It was going to give us some breathing space. So now we've just got a stiff challenge ahead of us, but we're ready to stand up, rise up to it.

Q. Kagiso, still with that game. I'm sure the result didn't go South Africa's way. There were signs there that the team was awakening, if you like. Did you get that feeling as well, that that could still be the turnaround game at this World Cup?
KAGISO RABADA: I hope so. We are very hopeful. I think we've played two of the best teams in the world. Bangladesh, we felt that we might have been a bit complacent, we talked about it, but we played England where actually we felt we really could have won that game.

India, we took it right to the death, but I think that's just in our DNA as South Africans. The way we play our cricket, you know, we are always there. If you look at how we play our cricket, we never give up.

So, we need a few things to click and we are working our way around it. And so we are looking to turn it around tomorrow.

Q. A few of us have been checking the weather report for Monday every hour. Is that something you guys have paid any attention to? It is not looking too great. Does that play on your mind in the preparation?
KAGISO RABADA: Yes and there's been small talk, not big talk, about the weather. Again, it's an uncontrollable. Whatever God decides to do, He'll do. But we're going to control what we can control.

Q. You are playing against a West Indian side that looks like the way their batters, they go and attack and attack. How do you approach a batting line-up like that in terms of your plans? Do you stay patient? Or do you go full tilt as well?
KAGISO RABADA: We have done our analysis already. We've put our plans in place. So today is about executing it or practicing it to make sure that we execute our plans.

The West Indies are a dangerous team. When they get going, they can really hurt the opposition, so we are aware of their threat. But we believe that we can beat them.

Q. Can you talk a little bit about the World Cup experience for you personally? And it must have been really exciting to come to a big tournament but obviously things haven't gone according to plan. What has that been like for you?
KAGISO RABADA: It's been very interesting (smiling). There's a lot been happening off the field. So it's a bit of a weird stage in terms of, you know, for the Proteas and cricket in South Africa. You've got youngsters that are coming in. You've got guys that don't have much experience coming in. And you've got guys who are towards... or nearing... they're approaching the end of their careers.

So it is a bit of a mix in that regard. We've been playing good cricket so, hopefully, in this tournament, we can do more of the same. There's been a lot happening off the field and we're just looking to clear that out of our heads. But it's been enjoyable.

I think the tournament has been well-run. Travelling from venue to venue, playing against the world's best. It's exciting. This is what you want.

So, it has been enjoyable and it has come with its challenges in terms of our team. But the journey continues.

Q. When you initially heard at camp in Cape Town that AB expressed his desire to come and play in the World Cup, what were your initial thoughts? And what were your emotions like in the team hearing that?
KAGISO RABADA: To be honest, I don't know much about what's happening, so I don't want to talk about things that I don't know, yeah (smiling).

Q. In the tournament so far, we've had Jofra Archer, Mitchell Starc, Jasprit Bumrah, they have all produced really dramatic spells of bowling. Has that put any pressure on you? Has that given you extra motivation? With a bit more luck maybe your spell against India in the morning could have reaped similar results?
KAGISO RABADA: I think they are all phenomenal bowlers. I admire watching other bowlers bowl. I think it's nice to see other people do well, not against us though (smiling).

So, I mean, at the end of the day, I focus on what I need to do. Everyone as cricketers, we have our aspirations. We want to achieve certain goals and I don't think it's put any pressure on me, no. Because I know exactly what I want to get out of the game, so it shouldn't put any pressure on me what they do.

I guess when you do admire another sportsman, it does inspire you. So it's nice to see people do well because it can inspire you. But I don't think it puts pressure on me. And I think I've played this game long enough to know that when things happen for you, they happen for you.

Sometimes you bowl like rubbish and then you pick up a 5-fer and it's... I know it's a cliché, but I have experienced that. And sometimes you bowl well and you don't get as many wickets as you're hoping for, or, you know, you're just out of luck, catches are being dropped. It happens. And that's really frustrating (smiling).

Q. You said about needing a few things to click. In that regard, how important is it for Hashim Amla to kind of rediscover his form? And how is he going through this phase, possibly at the twilight of his career?
KAGISO RABADA: It's important for a lot of us in the team to click into things and Hash is an important figure. Everybody knows that. He knows that. So we do rely on him, just as we rely on everyone in the team. But I guess you could say we rely on him more.

I don't think it's extra pressure for him. I think he copes with it. I think he's a really, really sound. He's got a sound mind. Yeah, he's a balanced individual. So, I think he knows what he has to do.

As a teammate, we are there to support him. We know that he can, you know, produce magic out there on the field and he's been showing signs of it in the warm-up games and we are really hopeful that he can come off.

We are working hard. We are working in the nets. We are planning. We are doing everything that we can in our power and he's doing everything he can, so God willing, hopefully.

Q. Can you talk a little bit about Beuran and how he's slotted into the camp since he's arrived. He is a guy that looks like he could have a big role to play, certainly on Monday given the injury situation?
KAGISO RABADA: Beuran is a really good bowler. I rate him a lot. Coming in as a lefty as well, it's variety. And I think he's got a lot of skill and he's played international cricket before, so he knows what it is about.

I've played with him, ever since I started playing professional cricket and against him as well. So I have seen enough for me to say that I'm really confident with him being in the team. And he always gives it his all.

Q. Before the start of the tournament, you said how fast bowlers are really competitive and you look at other bowlers, Bumrah and Archer. Do you pick yourself up more when you are coming against a team like the West Indies who have such a big cluster of tall, scary fast bowlers? Do you pick yourself up for that?
KAGISO RABADA: Mmm... Am I focussed on their fast bowlers? The batsmen should be focussed on their fast bowlers. I'm focussed on their batters because my job is to get their batters out (smiling). I don't know what must I think about their bowlers going into the game. I'm not thinking too much about their bowlers. It's not my job to think about their bowlers. It's not... Yeah, I'm a bowler (laughter).

I guess it's nice to watch when they play, you know. They've got some good pace. Youngsters. The West Indies have always had fast bowlers. Everyone knows about the Marshalls, the Holdings. So it's a culture, a culture of fast bowling in the West Indies and, yeah, it is nice to see. It is good for cricket.

It is good to see fast bowlers still around and especially for West Indies cricket.

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