Qantas Tour of South Africa

'Too quick': Maxwell's honest Rabada insight

Aussie star lifts the lid on what it's like to come up against the world's No.1 fast bowler

Cricket Network

21 March 2018, 01:07 PM AEST

Australia limited-overs star Glenn Maxwell has given a first-hand account of the kind of threat his compatriots are again set to face in the form of Kagiso Rabada from Thursday night in Cape Town.

Having ripped through the Australians with a record-breaking 11-wicket haul in the second Test in Port Elizabeth, Rabada was initially suspended for the third and fourth Tests of the ongoing series, only to have that verdict sensationally overturned on Tuesday after a marathon hearing.

The outcome means the Australians will again come up against the outstanding 23-year-old, whose performance at St George's Park swung the contest South Arica's way and resulted in him climbing to No.1 in the ICC's Test bowling rankings.

Maxwell, who was dropped from Australia's Test side ahead of the summer's Ashes, has faced Rabada six times in the shorter formats (four times in T20Is, twice in ODIs) and was the Proteas tearaway's first international wicket, during a 20-over clash in Melbourne in November 2014.

Rabada celebrates after taking Maxwell's wicket in 2014 // Getty
Rabada celebrates after taking Maxwell's wicket in 2014 // Getty

The enigmatic Victorian made a duck on that occasion, but it is a clash at Newlands in 2016 – scene of Thursday's third Test – that he remembers most vividly.

"We only needed about 20-odd to (win) and I just remember this ridiculously strong athlete bounding into the wicket," Maxwell told SEN's Whateley.

"I was just going, 'this is going to be fast' and sure enough it was quick.

"I missed the first one and then thought, 'I'm not getting behind the next one', so I backed away and tried to hit him over mid-off and it went over backward point for six.

"The idea was right – to hit him – but he was just too quick for me.

"I can't imagine facing him in a red-ball game with the ball reversing around like it was last Test, that's tough work to face.

"Credit to how good his bowling is at the moment, it's amazing to watch and we've now got the joy of watching him in the third Test."

King Kagiso finishes with 11 in SA's second Test win

The outcome of Rabada's appeal was met with a mixed reaction, while former Australia batsman Chris Rogers suggested it was a positive result for the game itself.

"It's the best thing for Test cricket. This could be one of the great series, you want to have everyone available," Rogers told

"If Australia win the series and Rabada has played all the Tests then they can say they're thoroughly deserving.

"It'd be a little bit bittersweet if they won it without Rabada playing."

Qantas tour of South Africa

South Africa squad: Faf du Plessis (c), Hashim Amla, Temba Bavuma, Theunis de Bruyn, Dean Elgar, Heinrich Klaasen, Quinton de Kock, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, Morne Morkel, Chris Morris, Wiaan Mulder, Lungi Ngidi, Duanne Olivier, Vernon Philander, Kagiso Rabada, AB de Villiers.

Australia squad: Steve Smith (c), David Warner (vc), Cameron Bancroft, Pat Cummins, Peter Handscomb, Josh Hazlewood, Jon Holland, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Tim Paine, Jhye Richardson, Chadd Sayers, Mitchell Starc.

Warm-up match: Australia beat South Africa A by five wickets. Report, highlights

First Test Australia won by 118 runs. Scorecard

Second Test South Africa won by six wickets. Scorecard

Third Test Newlands, Cape Town, March 22-26. Live coverage

Fourth Test Wanderers, Johannesburg, March 30-April 3. Live coverage