Kagiso Rabada’s recent suspension has forced the young fast-bowler Lungi Ngidi to rethink his action as a player. Due to showing aggressive reactions on the field, Rabada has been recently handed two Tests suspension.
In the second Test between the hosts South Africa and Australia at Port Elizabeth, Proteas pacer Kagiso Rabada showed aggressive reactions on the field. During the first innings of the second Test, Rabada had a shoulder contact with Steven Smith after dismissing him for 25 runs. As a result, Rabada was charged in level 2 with three demerit points.
Adding that, one more demerit point added on Rabada’s account in the second innings after giving a bossy send-off to Australian opener David Warner.
While Rabada has total nine demerit points (adding earlier demerit points too) on his account, he has been suspended for the next two Test matches of this series. The ongoing four-match Test series is currently level with the 1-1 margin after the second Test.
Talking about the ICC’s new demerit points system, 21-years old Lungi Ngidi said, “Their judgement is the final call. I’ve got no right to say they’re wrong. We just take care of what we can on the field. ‘KG’, as a player he knows he might have crossed the line. Maybe not. Who are we to say where the line is? It’s an interesting situation. I’ve never been part of it. Coming into international cricket and seeing something like this happen, it does take you aback and make you rethink your actions as a player.”
Speaking about the aggression on the field, Ngidi commented, “You can be aggressive with your actions, with what you say, or – in general, for me – the areas you bowl. Putting a batsman under pressure, having a presence, letting him know that you’re there. Those are the things I lean towards as a cricketer. I don’t really have to say much. I feel just a look may be good enough. Those are the kinds of things I say are aggression.”
While Ngidi admitted that Rabada’s advice is helping him to improve, he also mentioned that he is a different person. The young right-arm pacer quoted, “I’m starting to find my own feet. He’s a great bowler to get information from and to learn from. But I am a different person. I’m a lot more reserved as a person, so I can never say I want to want to be ‘KG’ Rabada. I’ve got my own abilities, my own skills and traits. Having him give me a bit of advice here and there is really helpful. It’s helping me improve as a person and as a cricketer.”
Ngidi made his international debut in January 2017 through the T20I. In the ongoing calendar year, Ngidi made his Test and ODI debut too. In his short international career, he has impressed so much and as a result, he has earned the national contract (for the 2018/19 season) for the first time.
Ngidi revealed that he didn’t expect that contract as he said, “I didn’t expect the national contact but I will take it in my stride as well. I’m just really enjoying everything that’s happening. The pace might be a quick but taking it every day at a time.”
While Rabada has been already handed the two-match suspension, South Africa is thinking to appeal on that. However, Ngidi is looking very confident on the team’s bowling line-up even if they missed Rabada for the next two games.
Ngidi said on that, “The thing is if he is not there, we are a well-rounded bowling team. We’ve got very experienced guys in Morne and Vernon (Philander). They know how to lead bowling attacks. Also bringing me into the attack. They know how to give information and pretty much display what to do in the field. It will be a massive loss if (Rabada) is not there but it does give another person the opportunity to step up and fill the gap and come hard at the Australians. Even though we are missing KG, we will still put a lot of pressure on them.”