After picking up 14 wickets in three Tests and 14 in seven limited-overs matches, Lungi Ngidi says he hopes he can keep up the momentum for the Proteas in many years to come.
The 22-year-old is starting to make a name for himself. He made his international debut in T20Is against Sri Lanka in January 2017, where he showed his potential by taking 2-12 to help the Proteas defend 126-5 and seal a 19-run win.
An injury slowed his smooth start and progress in the Proteas side, but it never stopped him from working his way back to the top, as he put in dominant performances for the Titans. His nine-for against the Lions in a first-class match put him back on the selectors’ radar.
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He finally earned a call-up to the Test squad after Dale Steyn injured his heel against India in January 2018, making his Test debut in front of his home supporters in the second Test. He tore through the India batting lineup in the second innings of the match, ending with figures of 6-39.
Ngidi discussed his debut in an interview on the ICC’s official website.
‘You wouldn’t expect something like that to happen on your debut,’ said Ngidi. ‘First of all, you’re just trying to get through the day. But to be able to perform like that, it helped me realise what I am capable of doing if I put my mind to it. I couldn’t have asked for a better debut and I look back on it now and I still think it’s a dream. I’m still struggling to let it sink in.’
In his follow-up series against Australia in March, he finished with match figures of 5-75, holding his own as the Proteas’ new rising star. He remained humble, however, when talking about his future in the game.
‘I’ve still got years ahead of me. The first thing that I’d like to do is make sure my career’s very long. At the moment, I just want to keep the ball rolling. I’ve got some good momentum behind me,’ he said.
‘Just having come on to the international scene as well, I’m still very energetic, very excited about everything that happens. I’m just looking to utilise that as best as I can. I’m very excited about what’s happening and, as a cricketer, that’s all I can really do – look forward to every opportunity I get and perform as best as I can.’
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