Days before India take on South Africa in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, Proteas pacer Kagiso Rabada, while speaking about one of the incidents from the IPL, said Team India captain Virat Kohli’s behaviour was “immature” during a clash between the Delhi Capitals and Royal Challengers Bangalore.
In an interview published in The Cricket Monthly from ESPNCricinfo, Rabada recalled an incident from the IPL where he had a verbal spat with Kohli. The leading bowler revealed that Kohli's reaction to the incident was “immature”.
“I was just thinking about the game plan, really, but Virat, he hit me for a boundary and then he had a word. And then when you give it back to him, he gets angry. I don't get the guy. Maybe he does it because it gets him going, but that comes across as very immature for me. He is a phenomenal player but he can't take the abuse,” he said.
“You have to think about what you are going to do, because the wicket was good. All it was a verbal fight. Something like that will not distract me. If anything, it is just going to wake me up to hit my areas a lot more consistently,” he added.
Rabada also said the entire incident kept playing in his mind on the way back to the team hotel in the bus, as he kept wondering whether it was anger that made Kohli the player he is.
"But later that evening, on the bus back to the hotel, I asked myself: 'That guy [Kohli] always seems to be angry on the field. Is he really angry?' Then I thought to myself what it would take for me to become really, really angry. That is going to happen very few and far times in between. And becoming angry like that - is that what gets him to play well? Do you know what I am saying? I can't psyche myself to be angry," he said.
Rabada is expected to be fully fit for country's World Cup opener against India in Southampton on June 5, according to team doctor Mohammed Moosajee.
Rabada, became IPL's highest wicket-taker with 25 scalps for Delhi Capitals before Cricket South Africa pulled him out as a precautionary measure after he complained of stiff back.
Moosajee, though, is yet to put a comeback date for the injured pace duo of Dale Steyn and Lungi Ngidi, who are out with shoulder and side strain respectively.
While there was no clarity on when Steyn and Ngidi would get fit, both are expected to travel with the squad to England.
If they don't get fit in time, there are enough players on stand by, said Moosajee.