Fast bowler Lungi Ngidi has insisted the Proteas’ focus remains on the ongoing ODI series against Sri Lanka as 30 May 2019’s opening World Cup fixture against England nears.
Ngidi clinched three key wickets in victory during the series opener at the Wanderers in Johannesburg last week – and will likely be named in the squad for the World Cup.
‘Up front probably wasn’t the best, but coming away with two wickets, I’ll take that,’ said Ngidi.
‘I could have been a lot better in the middle, that is where I let things go a little bit, but coming back to close off the innings I was very happy with that. For a first performance back from injury I think I’d take three for 60.
‘Representing my country means the world to me, so I wanted to do the best I could on the day. Coming back from injury there were a lot of things on my mind, but when I was on the field I was able to block those out. I was very nervous before the game, but after bowling that first ball I settled down.
The ODI was his first since November 2018, when injury ensured a three-month stint on the sidelines.
‘I’m very motivated in terms of the World Cup process that we started as the national side, talking about the plans that we had and the goals that we set ourselves building towards the World Cup. Those were playing on my mind while I was going through my rehabilitation and all the other things I had to do to get back.
‘It was very frustrating, but I have set myself goals that I want to achieve and that kept me motivated through the whole process. It’s a topic that we address on a regular basis, what we are building towards, but at the moment we are taking things one game at a time.
‘We were able to do that pretty well in the first game. I’d say everyone performed pretty well. We focus on one game at a time, but we have the World Cup as the bigger picture.’
The second ODI will be played at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Wednesday. Three more ODIs and as many T20Is against the Sri Lankans will follow, before the Proteas depart for the World Cup in the United Kingdom.