After ending up with figures of 5/19, Lungi Ngidi has admitted that it was a special feeling for him to end the five-wicket-haul draught after picking multiple four-fers in his Test career. Ngidi stated that the bowling unit wanted to be ruthless before talking about his work on the out-swinger.
Having made his well-anticipated debut in 2018, against India, Lungi Ngidi’s Test career hasn’t quite taken off in the same manner as his career in the limited-overs format. In eight Tests, the South African pacer has only picked up 24 wickets, with a solitary fifer against India on his debut Test. Ever since then, a fifer has always eluded him in the longest format, before Thursday.
In the ongoing first Test against West Indies, Ngidi brought out his ‘A’ game against the hosts, blowing away them in the first session of the Test. Working in tandem with Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje, the speedster picked up 5/19 in 14 overs, in a display of pure skills from the tearaway pacer. Post the day’s action, Ngidi admitted that it was a special feeling to finally get the fifer after a few four-fers.
“I was emotional, have got few four-fers, so it was special for me to get a fifer. It's been a while. Trying to string together a few performances. To have him (Rabada) embrace me was great as well. A word to Anrich (Nortje) as well. He knocked over the top order. He left the work for us pretty easy later,” said Ngidi post the first day's play.
Under the new leadership of Dean Elgar, South Africa made a positive start in Test cricket, with a lead of 31 runs at the end of the first day, after blowing the hosts away for just 97 runs. Ngidi credited Nortje’s efforts, stating that he gave the bowling attack the much-needed momentum.
“Our captain is strict on us. We were a bit too short at stages, so we pushed our lengths full. It was difficult at the start with the breeze too but Anrich managed to do well running into the breeze,” he added.
While the wicket had some purchase for the pacers, Ngidi stressed the fact that the bowling unit wanted to be ruthless in terms of their line and lengths. Not just that, the pacer also stated that it is a ‘work in progress’ for him. The 25-year-old also mentioned that he has been working on the out-swinger to the right-hander, after stunning the world with his inswingers during his debut.
“We'll take that. Not very often you bowl a team out for 97. There was a bit in the wicket and we explored that as much as possible and we have a bit of a lead. We wanted to be ruthless in terms of lines and lengths. We just wanted to execute well. It's been work in progress, been a while to put in a performance like this. People have seen me bring it back to the right hander, but now I have worked on the one going away and it feels good when it comes out well.”