After Lungi Ngidi’s man-of-match display against India in the recently concluded Centurion Test, there is a growing narrative in South African cricketing circles that Ngidi and fellow pacer Rabada are the men to lead the Proteas bowling attack for the next decade or so. The argument has been further fueled by Rabada himself who stated that it is him and Ngidi who hold South Africa’s cricket future in their hands.
Ngidi, making his debut in the second Test of the series burst onto the scene with a match-winning 6-wicket haul in India’s second innings, leading his team to an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series. Among Ngidi’s victims were Indian skipper Virat Kohli who struck a magnificent century in the first innings and could have won the game for India.
It must be noted that Ngidi was only able to make his Test debut after senior pro Dale Steyn was ruled out of the series due to the injury that he suffered in the Cape Town Test.
At the Momentum Pink ODI launch in Johannesburg on Thursday (January 18), Rabada conceded he too was excited about the prospect of leading the SA attack alongside his “friend” Ngidi. “I played with Lungi in the under-19s,” said the fiery fast bowler of his 21-year-old teammate. “We have a history. It’s nice to play with your friend. We’ve done it before… and long may it continue.”
The 22-year-old Rabada, world’s top ranked Test bowler, also made it clear that his team would not take their foot off the pedal in the series finale, which is virtually a dead rubber for Faf du Plessis’ men now. The young fast bowler made it clear that the Proteas are aiming to inflict a rare series whitewash over India, the number 1 ranked Test team in the world.
After the Centurion pitch being deemed too slow and even accused of suiting the Indians, reflecting on the kind of wicket that is likely to be on offer in Johannesburg, Rabada said: “We have played at lot here [the Wanderers]. We know the conditions and it’s normally a moving wicket. By that I mean there’s always a result. If you bat well you get runs and if you bowl well you also get wickets. The wicket has pace and bounce and swing.”