Less equivocal is that Rabada has resolved whatever has bothered him since January 4 — the day he took 6/55 against Sri Lanka at Newlands‚ his previous five-wicket haul in the 14 innings in which he had bowled beforethe Bloemfontein Test.
To see Bangladesh’s tailenders retreat gracelessly towards short leg even as Rabada advanced gracefully towards the bowling crease was to see a predator terrify prey.
What of the rest of a pace attack that was missing the injured Dale Steyn‚ Vernon Philander and Morné Morkel?
"It is important to see how we can make those guys get better for the time when they need to step up into the team‚" captain Faf du Plessis said.
"Hopefully [Steyn‚ Philander‚ Rabada and Morkel] will be fit to play most of the games‚ but these guys… will be looked at for the future so it’s important for them to see there is some work to do‚ but they have the quality."
The best of them was Olivier‚ who after not using his opportunities well enough in most of his other four Tests took four wickets in the match and bowled with the kind of aggression that put Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim in hospital.
"That’s what you want to see from young bowlers‚" Du Plessis said. "You want to see improvement‚ that they can learn quickly at the highest level.
"Because the guys that can learn‚ you can stick with them. The way [Olivier] bowled was a fantastic effort. To bowl 10 overs on the trot of short-ball work takes incredible effort.
"You can’t compare any of our bowlers to KG [Rabada]‚ but what we needed from the attack today was to be ruthless and aggressive and try and make it uncomfortable for Bangladesh‚ and he led from that aspect."
Olivier impressed most not by clanging Mushfiqur on the side of the helmet‚ which halted the game for several minutes while medics — including Mohammed Moosajee‚ SA’s team doctor and manager — fussed over the clearly groggy Bangladeshi‚ but by trying to hit him again with his very next delivery.
Mushfiqur ducked safely under that bouncer but Olivier then smacked Mahmudullah on the helmet‚ albeit with fewer adverse consequences.
Having ignored Moosajee’s advice to seek further medical attention‚ Mushfiqur bravely faced another 32 deliveries before he was dismissed and taken to hospital.
He returned in time to take issue with suggestions that he should resign the captaincy.
"Why should I? It’s not only because of me. It’s not an individual game. It’s a team game."
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