‘Fantastic’ Rabada excites Barry Richards

South Africa great Barry Richards believes the rise of Kagiso Rabada has ‘lessened the pain’ of Dale Steyn’s absence ahead of a Test series in England.

Steyn, perhaps the best fast bowler of his generation, has been ruled out of the four-Test campaign with a longstanding shoulder problem that has sidelined him since the end of last year.

But Rabada has helped fill the gap, the 22-year-old quick taking 71 wickets in 17 Tests at an impressively low average of 23.69 since making his debut against India at Mohali in November 2015.

“I think a lot of people were really wobbly about Steyn and the injuries he’s had, the age group, he’s in,” said Richards, the outstanding opening batsman of the early 1970s, in London on Thursday.

“Then Rabada popped out of the woodwork and he’s been absolutely fantastic. He bowls at a good pace, nice, easy action. If conditions are right, he’ll swing it way which is a real asset for a fast bowler,” added Richards, speaking at an event.

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