Kagiso Rabada out of Australia, India ODIs with groin injury, faces IPL fitness race

Kagiso Rabada has sustained a groin strain and will take no further part in the Australia tour to South Africa. He has been further ruled out of the team’s subsequent tour to India starting early next month, and faces a race to get fit in time for Delhi Capitals’ IPL opener on March 30.

Rabada suffered the injury during the recent T20I series against Australia, according to a Cricket South Africa press release. He played all three games, bowling 11 overs and conceding 114 runs, while taking two wickets. He is expected to be ruled out for around four weeks.

While this is Rabada’s first significant groin injury, he has regularly suffered with back problems throughout his career to date. In 2018, he missed the IPL with a stress injury, and last year he left the tournament early after a niggle. Faf du Plessis would later bemoan Rabada’s presence at that tournament during the World Cup, suggesting his pace was down following his knock.

“Kagiso sustained a groin muscle strain in the T20 series against Australia,” said Dr Shuaib Manjra, CSA’s chief medical officer. “He was assessed by the medical staff, assisted by an MRI scan.

“The significant injury means that he will take approximately four weeks to heal, which effectively rules him out of both the Australia and India ODI series. The CSA medical staff will ensure his effective and expeditious recovery.”

Delhi’s opening game in this year’s IPL is at home to Kings XI Punjab, and takes place on Monday, March 30. According to the suggested timeframe, his groin will likely have healed by that time, though it is by no means certain that he will have returned to match fitness in time to play. Last year, Rabada was the side’s leading wicket-taker with 25.

Rabada’s replacement has yet to be named. South Africa’s three-match ODI series against Australia begins in Paarl on Saturday, while the series in India starts on March 12.

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