He has only bowled six overs in national colours, but Lungi Ngidi is already being tipped as a future new ball bowler for the Proteas in all formats.
Not putting too much pressure on Ngidi too soon is something that stand-in T20I captain Farhaan Behardien is fully aware of, but the excitement surrounding the 20-year-old is unmissable at the moment.
He has picked up 6 wickets in his first two matches – his 4/19 in Johannesburg on Sunday coming so close to helping the Proteas pull off an unlikely win in the second T20I against Sri Lanka.
“I think a superstar has been born,” Behardien said of Ngidi.
“I don’t want to put too much pressure on him, he is only 20, but if he keeps his feet on the ground he will have a long career.
“He bowled out of his skin with good pace and bounce. Even on a slowish wicket he got the breakthroughs for us that we needed.”
“He got three wickets in his first few overs and a breakthrough in his fourth over. He was somebody that we could turn to to strike, I’m really pleased for him.”
Ngidi’s performances have also caught the eye of ODI captain AB de Villiers, who is set to return to the national side for Wednesday’s third T20 against Sri Lanka in Cape Town on Wednesday.
“He’s a youngster with a good head on his shoulders – very humble – he is prepared to work hard and knows where he comes from,” said De Villiers.
“It’s really nice to see youngster’s like him come through.
“He definitely has something special and I’m excited to see him grow into a world class bowler.”
Laraib Kashif is a freelance writer and cricket lover. He is interested in writing and playing Fantasy Cricket!