South Africa fast bowler Lungi Ngidi acknowledged that while he may have done well in patches since returning from a hamstring injury, his performances haven’t been up to the mark they should be at.
Ngidi injured his hamstring during the 2019-20 Mzansi Super League, which forced him to miss the Test leg of South Africa’s home season. He has since played in a few limited-overs games, but his performances have blown hot and cold. Ngidi was especially disappointed that he couldn’t contain runs as effectively, to complement his wicket-taking abilities.
“If I had to rate my performance over the last summer, I probably rate it at about a six. It was good, but to me it still wasn’t good enough,” Ngidi said. “There were a few games where I could have gone for a lot less runs. I picked up a few wickets and that’s my job, so I was happy with that but it’s not the finished product. I still feel I can deliver a whole lot more and a whole lot better.”
The up-and-down trajectory of Ngidi’s performances is best projected by the fact that he’s delivered, both, one of his most expensive spells in ODI cricket and his career-best performance this year.
Those performances came against England and Australia, respectively, as he returned figures of 3-63 in nine overs and 6-58 in 10 overs. Ngidi said a CSA conditioning camp in January helped him, and credited bowling coach Charl Langeveldt for helping him figure out what works for him.
“Every person has a different formula and I was still trying to figure mine out, so going to that camp helped me do that,” Ngidi said. “I figured out that I have probably got to work a lot harder than most people. It doesn’t come as naturally to me.
“Having Langeveldt back has been really good for me. He is really supportive and encourages the way I think. He is very understanding with that and he has got a lot of knowledge. He is a very skillful bowler. It has really helped my cricket a lot.”