Red Bull ‘The Mind Behind’: Episode 3, Kagiso Rabada: “I don’t have grudges off the field”


In this episode of ‘The Mind Behind’, watch Suhail Chandok question the 24 year old South African pacer Kagiso Rabada on his success mantra, how he managed to take 350 wickets at a young age and how he is coping with the ongoing lockdown and a lot more!

The Mind Behind is a cross-discipline series about the lives and careers of professionals across multiple streams on Red Bull India’s Instagram page. 

Talking about how he is spending his time amidst lockdown, Rabada said, “My friend and I have been doing some cool podcasts, they’re called the viral wellness, I am also trying to stay as healthy as possible by working out. I am also watching a lot of Netflix and trying to read some books.”

Kagiso Rabada poses for a portrait at Wanderers Cricket Stadium, Johannesburg, South Africa on September 17, 2018

Suhail then went on to ask Kagiso about the meaning of his name. Suhail asked, “I have got to ask you about your name Kagiso which means peace. We always see a very calm demeanor person in you, where do you channel that peace from? 

Kagiso smiled and replied, “I think I’m just naturally laid back. I think what I have on the field, it stays on the field. I don’t have any grudges against anyone off the field. Yeah, I think sometimes we do this interesting thing about channeling where I try to channel my aggression. I do believe that as a cricketer, as a as an athlete, you need to have aggression but it’s just something that’s naturally in me. He goes on to add,I think it’s basically just not having to think about a lot of things, and just getting your ducks in a row and really, that’s for me is peace of just feeling content.

Kagiso Rabada poses for a portrait at Wanderers Cricket Stadium, Johannesburg, South Africa on September 17, 2018 // Craig Kolesky/Red Bull Content Pool // AP-1X417KMQ92111 // Usage for editorial use only //

In his next question, Suhail finds out how Kagiso manages to flick a switch straight    back into stealth mode. “You know you speak about flicking that switch right between that calm demeanor person off the field and suddenly, needing to show that emotion, showing that aggressive side of you with the ball on the field.” Kagiso says, “It’s impulsive and hence why I say it needs to be channeled because it’s got me into trouble a couple of times.”

Feeling nostalgic, Kagiso recollects his debut game in Adelaide back in 2014, “Yeah, I made my debut in Adelaide against Bangladesh.  I was getting nervous before every single game. You know, when the nervousness becomes normal. I remember meeting David Miller. Yeah, David. David Miller comes out help and he says, “You’re going to have a good day” I’m like gee thanks Dave. I was like, man I feel good!”

Kagiso talks about his preparations for different formats in his next question. He says, The formats are completely different, your sleep patterns are haywire. But it is one of those things that, you know; in sports you need to sacrifice. Especially when you get older. You need to decide to what extent you want to sacrifice as well because you don’t want to be a complete robot. So, getting a good night’s rest is important, eating good food, I mean, look at the professionalism of the game these days, you have dieticians, you have trainers, doctors. You should know how to make the best of it.’

Kagiso Rabada is seen during a training session in Cape Town, South Africa on January 28, 2019.

Suhail asks Rabada to name a cricketer he respects the most and a cricketer who has pushed him to do his best. He says, ‘If you look at one day cricket, I’d say Virat Kohli is the most consistent performer, he is consistent in test cricket as well. I even like the work of Ben Stokes, Steve Smith, Kane Williamson.”

Another interesting question asked was three reasons that Kagiso considers cool about being a fast bowler. He said, “I think because Richard Hadley once said, he said, fast bowlers set the tone Like in rugby you have a fly off, when in football you have a midfielder. It’s just beautiful to watch. It’s like poetry in motion, it’s like a force in action.” 

Kagiso Rabada poses for a portrait during a training session in Cape Town, South Africa on January 28, 2019. // Craig Kolesky/Red Bull Content Pool // AP-1YDFZZ6D91W11 // Usage for editorial use only //

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Last but not the least, Suhail asked Kagiso about his 350 wickets and what has he planned for himself for the future. Kagiso said, “Well, it was an ambition of mine to be where I am today. So glad to have reached that pinnacle. All I want to do now is focus on a few things that would make me play better, win a World Cup, that’d be amazing!