London : South Africa right-arm fast bowler Lungi Ngidi on Sunday acknowledged the trust and confidence of legendary Indian wicketkeeper-batter and Chennai Super Kings skipper MS Dhoni in his abilities to win matches while turning out for the franchise in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Ngidi made his entry into the IPL fold in 2018 for the Chennai Super Kings, picking 11 wickets in seven matches at an impressive average of 14.18 and economy rate of 6 in propelling the franchise to win their fourth IPL trophy.
In 2021, though Chennai lifted the trophy for the fifth time, Ngidi got only three matches to play, picking five wickets at an average of 25 and economy rate of 10.41.
“Having someone of Dhoni’s calibre put his trust in me to win him games when I was 22 was massive for me. The IPL also taught me how to handle a big crowd.
I’d never played in front of 60,000 people and that was a bit overwhelming at the start. But once you get going it’s a breeze,” Ngidi was quoted as saying by ‘The Guardian’.
Ahead of IPL 2022, Ngidi was snapped by Delhi Capitals but didn’t get to play a single game as the franchise didn’t progress to the playoffs. He credited fellow South Africa pacer Kagiso Rabada, who had moved to Punjab Kings, and Delhi skipper Rishabh Pant for keeping him upbeat during IPL 2022.
“When I talk to Kagiso Rabada (his fellow fast bowler), if I am a little down he’ll remind me: ‘You’re an IPL winner, twice, and you’ve won man of the match awards. So why are you sitting here denouncing yourself?’”
“Even this year, in Delhi, Rishabh Pant has been so good. He’s young but he already has so much influence within the game and being able to bowl to him in the nets and run ideas past him helps you grow as a cricketer.”
Ngidi, who made a comeback to South Africa T20I team during the five-match series against India in June this year, is aiming to nail a permanent spot during the Proteas tour to England, starting with the three ODIs, first of which starts from July 19 in Durham, followed by three T20Is and as many Tests.
“My confidence is high, the rhythm is good and I’m just looking forward to playing over here. I really enjoy the English crowds and there’s always good banter so I’m excited.
I’ve seen a bit of swing and I’m really happy with that even if it looks like they’re preparing the wickets for the benefit of the batsmen.”