'Didn't dream of a start like this' - Rabada
After finishing with the best-ever figures on ODI debut, Kagiso Rabada said he hadn't dreamt of a start like this to his ODI career
Eddie Leie had the best returns by a South African on T20 debut. Kagiso Rabada finished with the best figures by anyone on ODI debut. It's no wonder, then, that Hashim Amla could joke about the possibility of another fresh face to field on Sunday.
"With two debutants doing so well, I think we should fly someone in tomorrow to play on Sunday, so they can also do well," Amla said, quickly clarifying that he was only having a laugh.
South Africa do not have any other uncapped players in the limited-overs' squad and no obviously promising ones bubbling under, but the youngsters they do have are coming through and doing so well. Apart from Leie and Rabada, Rilee Rossouw is making good after his dodgy start of four ducks in six innings in ODIs and South Africa will have some new players in the Test squad. Simon Harmer and Stiaan van Zyl both impressed on debut and Temba Bavuma and Reeza Hendricks will want to carve a niche for themselves.
To all of them, Amla has a simple message. "From the team's perspective, we don't have great expectations. We want guys to do well and perform at their best," he said. And if the results are great, as they have been so far, that's an added bonus.
That's something Rabada already knows. In little over a year, he has gone from being an Under-19 World Cup winner to an international headliner, but he is not overwhelmed. "Everything has been coming my way but I have just kept it simple, made sure I am ready to play, make sure I live the life an athlete is supposed to live - to a certain extent," he said. "I didn't dream of a start like this."
Now that it's happened, Amla expects Rabada to understand that it won't happen every time. "It's not rocket science. When you have expectation like that - you can't take six wickets every game," Amla said. "One thing that works in his favour, he works extremely hard and comes from a grounded background and understands you can go from hero to zero in one game. Sunday is another game. The way we look at it is that he has had a great game today. We know the person that he is, it's not like he is going to rest and say I will live off my six wickets for the rest of my life."
And Rabada has already showed his captain that he knows that. "Every time you represent your country, you have the responsibility to make sure you fulfill your role. Every game, I am going to make sure I am ready and if I play, I am going to try to do well."
But for tonight, Rabada can enjoy his success and he will. The wicket he took the most pleasure in was the first - Tamim Iqbal - because "I thought that was a pretty good ball." And the hat-trick. "That was a fluke. I went for a yorker and missed it by miles." Not a bad miss at all.
Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent