Ngidi credits gym session and change in lifestyle for his dream test debut

[caption id="attachment_61585" align="alignnone" width="580"]Ngidi Lungi Ngidi in action against India at Centurion on Sunday. Image Source: twitter@OfficialCSA[/caption]

Debasis Sen, Centurion - The innocent smile on Lungi Ngidi's face told its own story at the end of day two of the second Test between the Proteas and India at Centurion. There is an air of confidence in the 21 year old fast bowler from Durban who troubled the Indian captain initially with his pace.

“In my first spell I hit the pad a few times, so I thought that was a vulnerable area for him. He kept shifting across and getting more into my bowling line, so I thought maybe shoot one into the stumps. I nearly got him. I thought I had him. I thought he had hit the ground. When I saw that edge, I kind of dropped a bit, but I knew I had to get back on the ball,” said Ngidi on Sunday.

The burly pacer ended the day picking up the wicket of Parthiv Patel.

"A Test debut was a dream of mine and I’m happy to say it came true on my home ground. It was a very good day," a beaming Ngidi told at the post day’s play.

But things haven't always been this good for the speedster. He has gone through the highs and lows in a short career so far. Ngidi burst onto the international scene a year ago when he played three T20Is against Sri Lanka. He bowled at pace throughout that series and emerged with six impressive wickets. Ngidi, who reminded cricket lovers of West Indies pacer Pattrick Patterson immediately, took notice of him and, given his youth, he was instantly identified as one of South African cricket's brightest prospects.

The youngster did have a nightmarish phase as well as a side strain and then a back problem kept him out for the majority of 2017.

"That was probably one of the biggest challenges I’ve had in my career, going from such a high to such a low in such a short space of time," he revealed.

After months of rehab, intense physical training and a dose of self-reflection, Ngidi has come back stronger than he ever was. The bowler himself revealed that dietary changes and some hard conversations with some of his management at the Titans were key to a metamorphosis that saw him tone up and lose 8kg.

"The whole off-season I was actually in the gym. I had to lose a lot of weight," he said.

"I think one of the main things was diet and changing my lifestyle. That was very difficult but it helped me in the long run.

"A lot of credit goes to our trainer and physio and also our coach. We had to have a few hard chats behind closed doors and some honest chats as well," signs off Ngidi.




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