“Excited” Lungi Ngidi geared up for maiden tour of Australia
Lungi Ngidi (Getty Images)

South Africa fast bowler Lungi Ngidi is looking ahead to the three-match ODI series against Australia starting November 4. Ngidi, who made his debut against India earlier this year, has played 10 ODIs, picking up 22 wickets at an average of 20.45 has emerged as South Africa’s leading-wicket taker this year. Ahead of his first tour Down Under, the 22-year-old is excited at the prospect of battling the competitive Australia on their soil.

“Clashing with Australia is a good competition,” Ngidi, one of South Africa’s most promising prospects, said during the team’s practice in Perth on Saturday. “Everyone is competitive, it is good cricket, and everyone loves to watch it. I am expecting nothing less on this tour.

“The relationship between the two teams is one of competition. We keep it on the field, that is where it stays. There will always be aggression on a cricket field, the fast bowlers are always going to be coming at the batsmen and the batsmen will try to take us (bowlers) down. You have to keep it civil, but very competitive, I feel it is going to be a good challenge in this series.”

Ngidi forms part of South Africa’s formidable pace attack that also comprises the likes of Kagiso Rabada, Chris Morris and Dale Steyn. In his debut series against India, Ngidi picked up eight wickets in four games, followed by 10 wickets in four games against Sri Lanka. Against Zimbabwe, he played just two games and took four wickets. With pitches in Australia likely to suit his type of bowling, Ngidi emphasized on the need to adapt to the conditions quickly.

“I have seen the wickets here are pretty quick, that is going to be exciting. The main thing is to assess the conditions that you find on the day. I have always been told to never get ahead of myself, on quick wickets you might get too excited and end up bowling short when it is unnecessary. I will try to keep a level head, always hit competitive lengths and keep my aggression. The nets that we’ve been bowling on have been pretty quick. If the wickets are anything like that, it’s going to be an interesting battle. ”

South Africa will be without key batsmen Hashim Amla and JP Duminy and while that might be a cause of concern among a few, Ngidi believes South Africa have the quality that is good enough to get the better of the Australian side.

“We’ve got some senior players still here. They’re pulling the youngsters on very well. We’re learning as we go along. There’s guys like Quinton de Kock who’ve been here before, so they’re able to help the batsmen along. [Kagiso] Rabada’s also been here, so I’m working in partnership with him. There’s been a lot of information bouncing off of each other. Everyone’s in a good mindset, and they’ve been able to help the younger players fill the shoes that the older players have left behind.”