one of South African cricket's brightest young fast bowling prospects, Lungi Ngidi hasn't
had the easiest time on the international stage.
It has been over three years
since the 24-year-old debuted in a T20 against Sri Lanka at Centurion in 2017,
and since then he has had more than his fair share of injury worries.
From a side strain to back and
knee trouble and even abdominal problems, Ngidi has struggled to the point
where critics have raised concern over his ability to meet the physical
requirements of playing international cricket.
The most recent injury was a
hamstring strain that ruled him out of the England Test series over the festive
It was around that time that
Ngidi, under the instruction of new leadership in head coach Mark Boucher and
director of cricket Graeme Smith, attended a Proteas conditioning camp.
The message then was clear to
Ngidi. He needed to work harder than those around him if he was to get his
conditioning to an acceptable level.
When Ngidi did return to the
Proteas set-up for the limited overs series against England in February, it
took him a while to get over what bowling coach Charl Langeveldt says was
By the end of the summer, though,
with three T20s and two ODIS under the belt against each of England and
Australia, Ngidi had made headlines again for all of the right reasons.
He has taken 12 wickets in his
last three ODIs, including a career best 6/58 (10) against the Aussies last
time out, while he has 13 wickets from his last six T20s.
Over the course of the summer,
Ngidi was South Africa's most destructive bowler in white ball cricket and
particularly at the death.
He knows that he is far from the
finished product but his performances since returning from injury and the
conditioning camp have been pleasing for all involved in the national set-up,
"When you come back from a
long lay-off, you don't expect to perform right away," Langeveldt said on
"There was a lot of pressure
on him to perform because it was such a young attack and he was regarded as one
of the senior bowlers.
"He really handled it well
and stepped up to the plate. I was so proud of him when he achieved what he did
in the season having come back from injury. It says a lot about his character
and the will to do well for his country.
"He really did well under
pressure and that is the really good thing."
Ngidi would have been a shoo-in
for June's tour of Sri Lanka for three ODIs and three T20s, but that trip has
since been postponed because of the global coronavirus pandemic.