Lungi Ngidi picked for test debut as Proteas chose to bat
Highly-rated Titans fast bowler Lungi Ngidi becomes the 99th South African player to represent the Proteas at test level after he was included in the team to play against India at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Saturday.
This was announced shortly before Proteas captain Faf du Plessis won the toss and chose to bat first in Centurion.
The last player to make his test debut for the Proteas was Dolphins all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo when he turned out against Bangladesh in Potchefstroom in September last year‚ and he has gone on to play three matches.
Phehlukwayo debuted in the same match with Titans teammate and opening batsman Aiden Markram‚ who has gone on to play four test matches.
Ngidi‚ who played in three T20s and took six wickets for South Africa against Sri Lanka last year‚ replaced Dale Steyn‚ who was ruled out of the series after he injured his heel in the first test in Cape Town last week‚ won by South Africa.
The buildup to this second test in Pretoria this week was dominated by questions of who will replace Steyn and Ngidi got the nod from the selectors ahead of fast bowler Duanne Olivier and all-rounder Chris Morris.
As a result of his inclusion‚ the Proteas will go with a four-pronged fast bowling attack where Ngidi joins Kagiso Rabada‚ Vernon Philander and Morne Morkel with Keshav Maharaj the spinner and the batting lineup remaining unchanged from the first test.
For India‚ captain Virat Kohli has made three changes with KL Rahul‚ Ishant Sharma and Parthiv Patel included in the starting XI.