Chennai Super Kings pacer Lungi Ngidi, who made four IPL appearances this year, described the IPL 2020 season as ‘challenging’ but revealed that he learnt a lot more this season compared to his debut outing in 2018. His teammate, Faf du Plessis, meanwhile revealed that he has no plans of retiring.
After missing IPL 2019 due to an injury, the 2020 edition of the tournament got off to a rather bumpy start for South Africa’s Lungi Ngidi, who was dropped after just two games. After starting the season off with a fine three-fer versus Mumbai, Ngidi got smashed to smithereens in the second encounter versus Rajasthan, after which he was made to warm the bench by the management. Thankfully for the pacer, CSK’s elimination opened a door for a comeback into the side and he took the opportunity with both hands, picking five wickets in the last two games of the season to end IPL 2020 with 9 wickets.
Speaking to teammate Faf du Plessis post the Punjab clash, the 24-year-old admitted that IPL 2020 was a challenging experience for him, but revealed that he was pleased as he got to learn a lot this year, in comparison to 2018.
“To be honest I actually learnt a lot more this year than I did in the first season. Did pretty decently in the first season but this year was a bit more challenging. I had a few games at the start, didn’t go the way I wanted to but I was able to go back, work on a few things in the nets. Finally got my opportunity at the back end and I’m happy to come away with at least a couple of sticks,” Ngidi told du Plessis in a video posted by IPLT20.com.
Ngidi had a rough IPL 2020 but that was not the case with his Proteas and CSK teammate Faf du Plessis, who ended the season with 449 runs to his name. Du Plessis emerged as a silver lining for CSK in a dull season, but despite being 36 years of age, the South African revealed that he has no plans of retirement and was, in fact, feeling fit as ever.
“I think a lot of players get to this sort of an age and they start thinking about retirement. For me, that was something I did not want to think about. At all. I really wanted to put in effort to make sure I could be a fitter version of myself, because you can control that. If you’re doing that, you’re giving yourself the best opportunity to perform,” du Plessis said.
MS Dhoni, like du Plessis, too, was bombarded with questions about retirement prior to the toss on Sunday but the 39-year-old reassured fans that he will be donning the Chennai Yellow in IPL 2021. Du Plessis, who, barring 2016 and 2017, has been a through-and-through CSK man since his IPL debut in 2012, claimed that CSK is ‘synonymous with Dhoni’ and stated that the veteran’s strong and straightforward response showed that he was hungry and motivated to return next season.
"When you think CSK you think of MS Dhoni and also because IPL needs MS Dhoni to play, the fans love him so much so why not. He still feels motivated and to pitch up every day and come and do... being a big player comes with a lot of expectation and a lot of pressure.
"That answer told you he is very much motivated to come back stronger next year. There have been a few rumours floating around I have seen of him possibly retiring. So that answer was possibly a hell no straightaway.”