Proteas fast bowler Lungi Ngidi has expressed his disappointment with his opening spell during the Proteas’ 104-run defeat to England at the Oval.
The 23-year-old’s opening four overs was expensive. He conceded 27 runs, which was unusual for the young speedster who in the past for the Proteas and the Chennai Super Kings proved to be economical up front.
This was down to a lack of experience in English conditions and rustiness after a long injury layoff. But the youngster accepted no excuses and was critical of his performance.
‘I was very disappointed with my bowling performance upfront. I might have been overthinking it. All the talk was how they post totals of 350 so maybe that was at the back of my mind,’ he said.
‘There were a few opportunities in the Powerplay, where they nicked it through the slips and I started to think, “These people are humans, just like me”. I kicked into my rhythm from there.’
His remaining six overs went for 39 runs, and he picked up three wickets later in the innings, in what was an impressive turnaround.
‘I was happy to take three sticks but would have preferred two up front,’ he said.
‘We believed we could have kept them to under 300. Even when they got to 311, I thought they were below-par.’
The Proteas batting performance was their major downfall, with only Quinton de Kock and Rassie van der Dussen managing respectable half centuries.
Ngidi revealed what he learned from the manner England bowled on the Oval strip.
‘We realised it was not an easy wicket to bat on, having bowled all those slower balls at the back end,’ he said.
‘And they kept us on the back foot. They kept throwing punches at us. Hashim [Amla] retired early which was unfortunate for us.
‘When he came back on, batting with the all-rounders and the tail, he was probably less effective than he would have been up front.’
Faf du Plessis emphasised that the Proteas need to move on quickly, and Ngidi agreed with that notion.
‘Every game is important,’ Ngidi said. ‘Everyone had hyped up their first game to the point where you started feeling as if it was the final already but we didn’t let that get to us. We know what we need to do in order to get to the semi-finals.’
Next up is Bangladesh at the Oval on Sunday.
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