Lungi Ngidi has lined up South Africa’s World Cup match against India at the Rose Bowl as a grudge match he is particularly looking forward to. India thrashed South Africa 5-1 the last time the teams met in a bilateral series in early 2018, and Ngidi said: “I believe we owe them one”.
“I’m looking forward to India,” Ngidi said. “When they came here, they had a good series against us. So in my mind I believe we owe them one. It would be a very exciting game for me. I’m sure it will be for all the guys as well.”
Injuries stripped South Africa’s one-day side of key members during India’s last visit, with Aiden Markram filling in as a stand-in captain after Faf du Plessis, AB de Villiers and Quinton de Kock were all ruled out. Ngidi warned that a full strength Proteas team would provide a more equal contest.
“They’re a great team, don’t take that away from them,” Ngidi said of India. “But when they had a good series here, we were missing a few players. With those guys back, we’ll see how it evens out a bit.”
At just 23, Ngidi is the youngest member of South Africa’s World Cup squad. So quickly has he taken to international cricket, it is easy to forget that Ngidi is only 18 ODIs into his career. But as South Africa’s leading ODI wicket-taker in 2018, he has become an integral part of their white-ball plans. His very first global tournament is, he says, “honestly a dream come true”.
“Since I started this journey in international cricket, it’s something that was always brought to my attention: that there’s a World cup coming, and am I looking to be within that squad?” Ngidi added. “And now I’m here, and there’s no turning back now. Nothing but excitement going there, and it would be a dream come true to win that world cup and bring it back to South African soil.”