SA happy in stealth mode until the meet under-pressure England‚ says Ngidi

17 May 2019 - 09:49 By Khanyiso Tshwaku
Lungi Ngidi of South Africa celebrates after taking the wicket of Travis Head of Australia during game two of the Gillette One Day International series between Australia and South Africa at Adelaide Oval on November 09, 2018 in Adelaide, Australia.
Lungi Ngidi of South Africa celebrates after taking the wicket of Travis Head of Australia during game two of the Gillette One Day International series between Australia and South Africa at Adelaide Oval on November 09, 2018 in Adelaide, Australia.
Image: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

England’s recent batting exploits have most bowling attacks on edge but Proteas speedster Lungi Ngidi is nonplussed about the threat they pose.

After all‚ Trevor Bayliss’s team have everything to lose ahead of the World Cup opener against South Africa at the Oval on May 30.

England’s batting lineup is a powerful one‚ but English teams haven’t always coped well with the pressure of International Cricket Council tournaments.

There’s the pressure of being hosts and favourites; a kind of pressure that can suffocate teams‚ and Ngidi said this is what England have to deal with.

With South Africa literally flying under the radar‚ Ngidi said they are happy with where they are before the tournament.

“They’ll be under a lot more pressure than we are. They’re hosting and they’re considered to be the favourites and for us that’s an advantage because we go into the game wanting to win‚ but if we do win‚ it’ll set a massive statement for the rest of the tournament. If we don’t win‚ we’re not out of the tournament‚” Ngidi said.

“We know that every game is important and we’ve worked out a simple strategy of taking one game at a time. People are thinking about the final and winning the World Cup‚ however‚ you have to get through the group stages.

“Many people are looking far ahead but with that first game‚ it would set a massive statement‚ but we don’t mind flying under the radar.”

Ngidi’s season hasn’t been an easy one‚ with injuries curtailing his international season and what would have been a second Indian Premier League spell.

Playing in India would have given him some intelligence in terms of how to deal with the flat pitches and the small grounds in the United Kingdom.

However‚ the overhead conditions in the UK are a big leveller and a flat track can become difficult to bat on if the climatic conditions allow the white Kookaburra ball to swing lavishly.

Ngidi may be big and fast‚ but he’s an intelligent enough bowler to know that pace isn’t the be-all and end-all of success in the UK.

He also acknowledged the fact that conditions will play a big role in the tournament despite the fact that the dice has been loaded against bowlers in the UK in the past three years.

“Conditions determine how you bowl in specific games and not all grounds are small. There’s normally one big side but you use that as best as you can‚” Ngidi said.

“The conditions will have a big say in terms of how you bowl but‚ like many people say‚ you can’t hit a good yorker for six. You need to be able to nail all of your skills.

“Pace is important‚ but people need to realise that the top batsmen in the world aren’t scared of pace. It just makes them more aware because they don’t want to get hurt.

“They know if they switch off for one ball‚ they’ll get out so the varying of pace is very important. You can bowl at 130km/h and hit the right areas and crank it up just to keep them guessing. That’s what I like to do.”

X