Image courtesy of: Zimbio
South Africa pace bowler Lungi Ngidi has expressed his desire to bowl with the new ball going forward.
Ngidi has enjoyed a strong start to his international career as he took figures of 6-39 on debut against India at Centurion. In the three Tests he has played, he has taken 14 wickets at an average of 16.42.
He has also taken eight wickets in four ODIs at an average of 25.50 and six wickets in three Twenty20 Internationals at an average of 7.33.
Given his performances to date and the fact that fellow seamer Morne Morkel retired from international cricket after the four-Test series against Australia, Ngidi hopes to be given the opportunity to bowl with the new ball.
“I want to take the new ball for my country, so I’m trying to perform as best as I can and put myself in the best position to be selected,” he was quoted as saying by sacricketmag.com. “It’s a big responsibility but it’s part of the game and is something I’ve always wanted. I’m going to keep working towards that and focus on my own game and contribute towards my country as best as I can.”
Once Dale Steyn becomes fully fit, Ngidi knows that he could lose his spot in the Test side since Vernon Philander and Kagiso Rabada are South Africa’s frontline seamers.
“It’s difficult for me only having played a few international games,” he said. “We still have Dale, Vern and KG who are still frontline bowlers. I’m just trying to add to the pack and strengthen the group. It’s difficult to say where I fit in at the moment, but whenever [I am] called upon there’s a job to do.
“The Australia series really helped me realize where I fit in the picture, running into guys like that and being able to bowl decently was nice to see.”
Ngidi will have an opportunity to showcase his skills with the ball against Sri Lanka in July. Given the fact he will be playing in subcontinent conditions, Ngidi will look to draw from his Indian Premier League (IPL) experience.
Ngidi played for the Chennai Super Kings, who won the tournament, and took 11 wickets in seven matches at an average of 14.18 and an economy rate of six.
“The wickets were a lot better than I expected,” he said. “That was pleasing. I’m not saying it will be the same in Sri Lanka, but just to be able to play in those conditions, in terms of the heat, humidity has put me in a better position to face Sri Lankan conditions.
“The line and lengths are crucial there. I just made sure I was attacking that fourth stump, hitting the top of the stumps and making the batsmen play. It’s a cliche we hear but it’s not so easy to execute on the field and keep repeating it. Those are the most important things about bowling in sub-continent conditions.”