He’s rapidly becoming hot property in international cricket but Lungi Ngidi still isn’t quite sure where he fits in the Proteas’ bowling attack, especially in Tests.
With Morne Morkel having announced his international retirement at the end of the series against Australia, it actually seems a formality that the 22-year-old quick’s time has come.
Lungi Ngidi on his IPL – Indian Premier League experience. Cricket South Africa
Posted by The Citizen Sport on Thursday, 31 May 2018
Yet July’s tour to Sri Lanka is a problem on two fronts.
One is that the Proteas will seriously consider a second frontline spinner in favourable conditions, limiting the spots available for the quicker men.
And, of course, a certain Dale Steyn is expected to be fit and ready again.
“It’s still difficult for me to judge where I fit in. I’ve still only played a few internationals,” Ngidi said on Thursday after returning from a promising first campaign in the Indian Premier League (IPL) for Chennai Super Kings.
“We still have men like Dale, Vernon Philander and Kagiso Rabada present who are still the frontline attack. I’m really just trying to strengthen that pack at the moment. But whenever I get called up, there’s a job to to, so I just do the best I can.”
Whatever the bowling pecking order is, it’s safe to say that Ngidi’s performances in India has definitely given him more clout.
The experience he’s gained from interacting with heavyweight thinkers such as Chennai captain MS Dhoni and coach Stephen Fleming, a legendary former New Zealand captain, will be of immense value.
“I’ve gained a lot of confidence as a player. The thing is, you suddenly have players and coaches from around the world backing your ability, not just your local teammates,” said Ngidi.
“To have someone like MS trusting you with the new ball is huge. It was really just about keeping things simple and they appreciated that.”