Kagiso Rabada, Hashim Amla and Lungi Ngidi © Getty Images
Kagiso Rabada, Hashim Amla and Lungi Ngidi © Getty Images

Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi’s bond dates back to the U-19 cricketing days. Both players are well aware about of other’s character on-field. However, Rabada’s two-match Test suspension has come as a shock for the South African team. Rabada was slapped with level 2 offence for brushing his shoulders against Steven Smith after dismissing him during the second Test. Soon afterwards, he was charged with level 1 offence for sending David Warner off on an aggressive note on the final day of the match.

Despite all this, Rabada is the No. 1 Test bowler today, and won the Test for South Africa with figures of 11 for 150. After Faf du Plessis criticised the ICC match officials and backed Rabada, Ngidi too has come in support of his teammate. At the same time, Rabada’s incident has propelled Ngidi to rethink his actions. Ngidi believes Rabada is the more aggressive of the two. In a chat with Cricbuzz, Ngidi spoken in length about Rabada’s suspension, his views on comparison with Rabada and his central contract.

On Rabada’s suspension and his bowling actions: “Their judgement is the final call. I’ve got no right to say they’re wrong. We just take care of what we can on the field. KG, as a player, knows he might have crossed the line. Maybe not. Who are we to say where the line is? It’s an interesting situation. I’ve never been part of it. Coming into international cricket and seeing something like this happen; it does take you aback and make you rethink your actions as a player.”

Ngidi’s views on Rabada and his character on-field: “I’m starting to find my own feet. He’s a great bowler to get information from and to learn from. But I am a different person. I’m a lot more reserved as a person, so I can never say I want to want to be ‘KG’ Rabada. I’ve got my own abilities, my own skills and traits. Having him give me a bit of advice here and there is really helpful. It’s helping me improve as a person and as a cricketer.”

Rabada’s replacement for3rd Test: “The thing is if he is not there, we are a well-rounded bowling team. We’ve got very experienced guys in Morne and Vernon (Philander). They know how to lead bowling attacks. Also bringing me into the attack. They know how to give information and pretty much display what to do in the field. It will be a massive loss if (Rabada) is not there but it does give another person the opportunity to step up and fill the gap and come hard at the Australians.”

On securing national contract: “I didn’t expect the national contact but I will take it in my stride as well. I’m just really enjoying everything that’s happening. The pace might be a quick but taking it every day at a time.”