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Lungi Ngidi: From Poverty to New-ball Icon

When Dale Steyn was ruled out because of a heel injury after playing his part in a Test defeat of India at Newlands in Cape Town, South Africa had several pace options to choose from. They went for one who had made his name as a T20 bowler after coming from the most humble circumstances. Lungi Ngidi didn’t disappoint the selectors. Lungi Ngidi plays for South Africa cricket team and Delhi Team in the Indian T20 League.

On his adopted home ground at Supersport Park in Centurion, he skittled India in the second innings with incredible figures of 6 for 39. The most enjoyable wicket for him was that of Virat Kohli, who had made a majestic 153 in the first innings.

After making his mark in domestic T20s, he starred on debut against Sri Lanka before injury halted his progress. But that stunning Test debut pushed him back into the spotlight, and it wasn’t long before an Indian T20 League contract came his way. The Chennai team picked him in 2018, and he played a significant part in their run to a 3rd title.

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Lungi Ngidi: Recent Times

A side strain ruined his 2019 World Cup chances and caused him to miss the 2019 Indian T20 League season too. Since then, there have been other issues with his fitness, and the expected dream combination with Kagiso Rabada has happened only a handful of times.

No matter what the format, Ngidi is a wicket taker – his strike rate in T20 Is is unmatched – but an inability to stop the runs has seen him fall down the pecking order as far as T20 franchises are concerned. But both he and South Africa will hope that the upcoming T20 World Cup – in fast and bouncy Australian conditions that should suit him – will change that narrative.

On his good days, with his height and a physique that wouldn’t be out of place on a rugby pitch, Ngidi can be nearly unplayable. India fought that out the hard way nearly 5 years ago.

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Lungi Ngidi’s Personal Details

    • Name
    • :
    • Lungisani True-man Ngidi
    • Date of Birth
    • :
    • 29th March 1996
    • Birthplace
    • :
    • Durban, South Africa
    • Height
    • :
    • 6′4″
    • Playing Role
    • :
    • Bowler
    • Bowling Style
    • :
    • Right-arm fast medium
    • Current Teams
    • :
    • South Africa, Chennai team, Delhi team

Lungi Ngidi’s Current Rankings

As of 22 Aug. 2022, Lungi Ngidi is ranked 25th, 23rd, 21st in the T20I, Test and ODIs batting rankings.

    • Game Format
    • Test
    • ODI
    • T20
    • ICC Bowling Rankings
    • 23
    • 21
    • 25

Lungi Ngidi Career Stats

As of 22 Aug. 2022, Lungi Ngidi has the below stats in the ODI, Test and T20I format for South Africa team.

    • Format
    • M
    • Inn
    • Wickets
    • Best Bowling
    • Avg
    • SR
    • ER
    • 4W
    • 5W
    • CT
    • Test
    • 13
    • 25
    • 47
    • 6/39 vs. IND
    • 20.65
    • 41.40
    • 2.99
    • 1
    • 3
    • 6
    • ODI
    • 38
    • 37
    • 62
    • 6/58 vs. AUS
    • 27.12
    • 28.9
    • 5.62
    • 2
    • 1
    • 8
    • T20I
    • 28
    • 28
    • 47
    • 5/39 vs. ENG
    • 16.85
    • 11.7
    • 8.60
    • 1
    • 1
    • 5

Lungi Ngidi - Key Skills and Strengths

Ngidi first came to prominence as a T20 bowler who was comfortable both with the new ball and bowling in the final stages of an innings. But while destroying India on his Test debut in January 2018, he also showed that he had the discipline and accuracy to master the longest format. He could also bowl the heavy ball, just short of a good length, which troubles even the best batters. Most importantly, as his numbers in each format show, especially the strike rate, he’s a wicket taker.

Lungi Ngidi - Awards and Achievements

Since his T20I debut for the South African cricket team in 2017, Ngidi has managed to make an impact across formats. Despite question marks over his weight and fitness at times, he has 5-wicket hauls in each format of the game. And when in good rhythm, he’s equally at home with the red ball and its white counterpart.

Here are some of Ngidi’s achievements in international cricket:

  • Ngidi’s 6-39 on debut against India were the 7th-best figures by a South African debutant.

  • No South African has taken 50 ODI wickets faster than him (26 games).

  • Only Jonty Rhodes (5) has taken more catches in an ODI innings than Marsh (4).

  • His strike rate in T20Is (11.7) is the best for any bowler in the format’s history.

  • Only Tim Southee (16) has had more batters caught behind in T20Is than Ngidi (13), but the former has played 3 times as many matches.

Lungi Ngidi’s Indian T20 League Journey

Ngidi’s stunning performance on Test debut convinced Indian T20 League scouts who had already watched him perform in T20s with the Titans and South Africa. Given how astutely they’ve recruited over the years, it was no big surprise when the Chennai team paid ₹50 lakhs for him before the 2018 Indian T20 League season. And though he played only 7 matches, Ngidi’s 11 wickets were a big factor in Chennai celebrating their return after a 2-year ban with a title win. But his inability to choke the flow of runs in the 2020 and 2021 seasons saw Chennai let him go, and though Delhi Team bought him for ₹50 lakhs before the 2022 season, he didn’t play a game.

    • Format
    • M
    • Wickets
    • Best Bowling
    • Avg
    • SR
    • ER
    • 4W
    • 5W
    • CT
    • Indian T20 League
    • 14
    • 25
    • 4/10 vs Punjab
    • 17.92
    • 12.96
    • 8.30
    • 1
    • 0
    • 2

Lungi Ngidi: FAQs

What are the current teams of Lungi Ngidi?

Currently, Ngidi has played for the South Africa national cricket team since 2017 and in the Indian T20 League, he was bought by the Delhi Team in 2022 but yet to play a game for them.

What did Ngidi’s parents do before he became a cricket star?

Ngidi’s mother was a domestic worker, while his father did maintenance jobs at a local school.

What American TV show is Ngidi’s favorite?

Ngidi is a huge fan of The Big Bang Theory.

Which is Ngidi’s favorite football team?

He is an admirer of Atletico Madrid, coached by Diego Simeone.

Which two maverick sportspersons did he idolize while growing up?

One was Chris Gayle, cricket’s self-styled Universe Boss, another was Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the Swedish football legend.

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