Lutho Sipamla could be the next big thing in cricket, just like Rabada
Tshwane Spartans and Warriors fast bowler Lutho Sipamla probably has the closest action to Mfuneko Ngam's smooth and whippy bowling style.
Ngam's career was curtailed by injuries partially brought on by different training regimes, something that's informed his coaching from a management perspective.
Ngam, though, said Sipamla has been in great hands before he started working with him and it's showing already. "The guys who came before me have done an excellent job in terms of managing his workload and advising him as a cricketer.
"When I think of Lutho, I think of Kagiso Rabada because he had someone like Geoff Toyana at the Highveld Lions to look after him and there were people who looked after him during his young stages. There are also guys like Vincent Barnes at the national academy who've looked after Lutho well," Ngam said.
"Back in the day, we used to bowl a lot of overs and no one was recording those things, but now there are programmes in place where the guys have a set amount of balls they need to bowl before the start of the season. They have to be managed as the season progresses and Lutho was one of the bowlers whose workload was high because of pre-season work and tours. The support staff we have here care for the bowlers."
Ngam said Sipamla's intense work ethic could be based on the fact that he took a different cricketing route even though he went to the prestigious Grey High School in Port Elizabeth.
Ngam said he was told Sipamla was a third-team player before his talent shone brightly at Zwide's Regional Performance Centre. Sipamla played for the 2016 SA Schools side that was captained by Wiaan Mulder.
"His work ethic is something that will get him far because he's asking questions all the time and asks the right ones. Those are qualities that'll take him far because you get guys who are arrogant who aren't open to suggestions," Ngam said.
Spartans assistant coach Mandla Mashimbyi said he's been happy with how Sipamla has taken on lead-bowler responsibilities in Lungi Ngidi's injury-enforced absence.
At the time of writing the 20-year-old was fifth on the wicket-takers' list with eight scalps at 21.12.
"He's got the talent and the attributes a fast bowler needs plus a good head on his shoulders. With Lungi injured he realised he needed to take responsibility with the new ball and the middle stages. He's responded well to what's been expected of him and that's made our lives easy," Mashimbyi said.