IND vs SA, 1st Test: Rohit Sharma's struggle against Rabada continues in all formats (WATCH)
Kagiso Rabada proves to be a persistent challenge for Rohit Sharma and has gone on to dismiss him 14 times across all formats.
In the India vs South Africa series, Kagiso Rabada has emerged as a persistent challenge for Rohit Sharma across all cricket formats. This trend continued in the recent Centurion Test, where Rohit Sharma faced dismissal by Rabada in both the first and second innings, the latter resulting in a duck. Rabada has now secured Sharma's dismissal 14 times across various formats, marking the highest count by any bowler.
Rohit Sharma's vulnerability against Kagiso Rabada persisted with his dismissal in the opening Test match in Centurion on Tuesday, and he faced the same fate on Thursday in India's second innings, being dismissed for a duck. Across all formats, Sharma has consistently been a key target for Kagiso Rabada. The South African paceman has now claimed Sharma's wicket a total of 14 times, the highest among all bowlers.
Other bowlers who have dismissed Rohit Sharma most frequently in international cricket include New Zealand's Tim Southee (12), Sri Lanka's Angelo Mathews (10), Australia's Nathan Lyon (9), and New Zealand's Trent Boult (8).
Out of the 14 dismissals against Rabada, seven have occurred in Test cricket, making Rabada the fast bowler who has troubled Rohit Sharma the most in the longest format. Rabada has dismissed Rohit five times in ODIs and twice in T20Is. In comparison, Australian spinner Nathan Lyon has removed Rohit Sharma nine times in 18 Test innings, while Rabada has bowled in 10 Test innings against Rohit.
During the recent Centurion Test, Rohit Sharma attempted a pull shot on the final ball of the fifth over, batting at 5, only to be caught by Burger at long leg. Despite being an effective shot in limited-overs cricket and in India, Rohit Sharma's go-to shot, the pull, has been exploited by top-quality bowlers like Kagiso Rabada on overseas pitches. Over the last three years, Sharma has been dismissed six times while playing the pull shot in Test matches held in England, Australia, and South Africa out of 48 such executions.
Commenting on this aspect of Sharma's game, former Indian cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar noted that the pull shot, which is impactful in white-ball cricket, becomes hazardous in Test matches when played in the air.
In the recent Test, Rabada showcased his prowess by claiming five crucial wickets for just 41 runs in 15 overs. His incisive spell included the dismissals of Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Ravichandran Ashwin, and Shardul Thakur. This outstanding performance also marked Rabada's achievement of reaching 500 international wickets, making him the seventh Proteas bowler to attain this milestone. Despite Rabada's fiery spell, KL Rahul's fighting century helped India post a challenging total of 245 runs in the first innings.