Ngidi: This is not a Centurion pitch

2018-01-14 22:57
Lungi Ngidi (Gallo)

Centurion - A few South African pundits - former Test captain Graeme Smith included - have voiced their disapproval at the Centurion wicket this weekend. 

Proteas skipper Faf du Plessis had made it very clear in the build-up to the second Test against India that he wanted a pitch that provided both pace and bounce for his fast bowlers. 

Two days in, there doesn't seem to be much of that on offer and both sides have, at different stages, decided to bring a helmet-clad slip fielder in a few yards because of the lack of carry in the wicket. 

On day one, India utilised off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin for 31 overs. 

Those who know the ground well say that it is unlike any Centurion strip they have seen in recent times, and even Test debutant Lungi Ngidi has joined that chorus. 

The 21-year-old had a day to remember as he claimed his first Test scalp, but even through all the euphoria he could see that things at his home ground were unfolding differently to what he would have expected.

"On a typical Centurion pitch there would definitely be a lot more bounce," Ngidi confessed.

"Seeing how the wickets fell is a good representation of how it’s not a Centurion pitch. Most wickets on Centurion are usually caught behind and the slips come into play a lot.

"At the moment in this Test there hasn’t been a lot of that."

The nature of the wicket aside, Ngidi believed the Proteas were in a good position.

With India battling on at 183/5, still 152 runs behind South Africa's first innings total of 335 all out, the Proteas know that they are a few quick wickets away from taking the lead in the Test.

"I think our bowlers have done pretty well. We’ve hit the wicket hard and got some carry through," Ngidi said.

"It’s not what we were thinking we were going to get, but it’s what we got."

The prize wicket on Monday morning will be that of Indian skipper Virat Kohli, who is 85*.

Read more on:    proteas  |  lungi ngidi  |  centurion  |  cricket


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