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Debutant Lungi Ngidi elated after taking maiden Test scalp against India

Lungi Ngidi is debuting for South Africa in the second Test against India being played at SuperSport Park in Centurion.

cricket Updated: Jan 15, 2018 10:10 IST
Somshuvra Laha
Somshuvra Laha
Hindustan Times, Centurion
Lungi Ngidi,Parthiv Patel,Vernon Philander
South African bowler Lungi Ngidi (C) and his teammates celebrate the dismissal of Indian batsman Parthiv Patel (not in picture) during the second day of the second Test at SuperSport Park in Centurion.(AFP)

South Africa fast bowler Lungi Ngidi said it was a dream come true playing his debut Test at his home ground and taking his first wicket here. Ngidi dismissed Parthiv Patel just when the wicketkeeper-batsman was looking dangerous, removing him with a delivery that straightened after pitching. He credited Vernon Philander for planning the dismissal. (IND v SA 2nd Test, Day 2 HIGHLIGHTS | SCORECARD)

“It’s a dream come true, I actually had goosebumps. The way I took it…I was talking to Vernon in terms of game-plans on how to get that wicket. Listening to someone with so much knowledge, and it planning out exactly the way he was telling me, it made me really happy and believe that I can perform at this level,” said Ngidi.

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Though capable of bowling above 145 km/hr over long spells, Ngidi was used in shorter spells. And he is okay with that. “I’m just coming onto the scene, so bowling shorter spells is probably a better plan. I felt it worked better for me - I was able to bowl at 100 percent effort every time. The other guys were bowling similar spells. It’s a game plan,” said Ngidi, who said he had to lose eight kilos as part of the process of getting fit.

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“The whole off-season I was in the gym. I had to lose a lot of weight. That was tough. A lot of weights as well. One of the main things was diet and changing my lifestyle. That was also pretty difficult, but it’s helped me in the long run. A lot of credit goes to our trainer and physio for the work they put in with me. And our coach as well - we had to have a few hard chats behind closed doors. Some honest chats as well. But they have helped me in the long run,” he said.

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Man-of-the-Match on Twenty20 debut against Sri Lanka last year, Ngidi has already had few run-ins with injury. “That was one of the biggest challenges I have had in my career, going from such a high to such a low in such a short space of time. Being selected to play South Africa A and then getting injured again. It was tough for me because I thought I was doing all the right things but the results just weren’t going my way. I got a lot of time to reflect and get to know myself as a person, and I got through it. I am a lot stronger than I thought I was. It helped me with a lot of confidence going forward,” he said.

First Published: Jan 15, 2018 08:57 IST