Proteas fast bowler Lungi Ngidi says that he could be back in action sooner than expected.
Ngidi has had an impressive start to his Test career. The 22-year-old quick announced himself to the South African public by taking seven wickets in his opening match against India. That included 6-39 in India’s second innings at his home ground, SuperSport Park.
The fast bowler has shown amazing talent across all formats. He has 15 wickets in four Tests at an average of 19.53 and an economy of 2.84. In ODIs, he has 26 wickets in 13 games at an average of 23.03 and an economy of 5.56. In T20Is, Ngidi has 11 wickets in seven games at an average of 11.63 and an economy of 6.40.
Unfortunately he was forced to miss the current series against Pakistan after picking up a knee injury in November against Australia Down Under.
The original estimated time on the sidelines was three months, but Ngidi confirmed that his return date might come sooner.
‘The initial prognosis was that I would be out of action for 12 weeks, but it could be shorter than that to see me on the field of play again,’ Ngidi told Sport24.
‘I seem to be ahead of schedule, which is pretty good news. I’m not going to make any promises as far as returning to the field sooner than expected is concerned, but there is a possibility it could happen.
‘I’m no longer wearing a knee brace and am back to running and bowling again off a short run-up.
‘I’m very relaxed about my recovery, and the fact that I have remained part of the national squad during this period has been good for my mindset.
‘I’m training with the Proteas trainers and getting treatment, and even though I’m not playing, I don’t feel out of place in the team environment. It’s been good seeing the guys pretty much every day over this time.’
Ngidi also expressed his admiration for Dale Steyn and how that has inspired him during this difficult period.
‘What I most admire about Dale is how consistent he has been over the years. He has endured a number of injuries as a fast bowler, but he has been able to come back even stronger from those setbacks,’ Ngidi continued.
‘I’m looking up to that as a young player having now had a few injuries. Dale has underlined that if you work hard and do your rehab, it’s possible to come back and be an even better cricketer. He is a fantastic bowler and I have learned a lot from him in a short space of time.
‘Dale has shown dedication and determination and I am very happy for him that he became South Africa’s leading Test wicket-taker of all time during the three-Test series against Pakistan.’
Photo: Michael Dodge/Cricket Australia/Getty Images