Lungi Ngidi has set himself only one personal ambition – winning the World Cup, writes KHALID MOHIDIN.
Ngidi couldn’t contain his signature smile when addressing the media on Thursday. He looked fit, ready and had an air of confidence about him.
There was never any doubt about his selection for the World Cup XV, and despite his inexperience – 18 ODIs – he has shown remarkable pace, aggression and control to prove his worth in the Proteas’ lethal seam attack.
The only concern surrounding the 23-year-old was his fitness ahead of the big tournament. He picked up a knee injury in the one-off T20I against Australia which set him back three months. This was followed by a side strain against Sri Lanka which ruled him out of the IPL.
His absence from the India-based tournament could have been a blessing in disguise for the Proteas, who now have a fit and ready Ngidi available.
‘I’m feeling good’, Ngidi told SA Cricket magazine. ‘It’s been a good process. A lot of training, a lot of running, a lot of gimming, so I am feeling very good at the moment. All that is left now is to go out and play.
Ngidi was clearly excited to get his first World Cup campaign on the way, revealing his powerful personal ambition.
‘I cannot wait to jet off now. With regards to personal ambitions… just pretty much win the World Cup,’ he said confidently.
‘I don’t like to set myself personal targets because sometimes you get disappointed when you don’t reach those. But I will take it one game at a time and try to perform as best as I can.’
India was the side he singled out as the team he is looking forward to playing the most, tapping into the memory when the Proteas lost 5-1 to the visitors on their tour to South Africa in 2018.
He is, however, confident that with the Proteas’ current squad they can beat India, who are among the World Cup favourites to lift the trophy.
Photo: Frikkie Kapp/Gallo Images