East London: South Africa pacer Lungi Ngidi is returning back to his rhythm after recovering from a hamstring injury. "It takes a lot out of your mental side. Physically, obviously I am trying as best as I can to get back to the pace that I was at and to hit the areas that I am known for hitting," ESPNcricinfo quoted Ngidi as saying.
Ngidi was adjudged as the player of the Match for his exceptional bowling. He defended seven runs off his last over and handed his side a one-run thrilling victory over England in the first T20I at Buffalo Park. "But at the moment, it's just trying to keep that confidence going of doing my job at the back end and closing out very well," the pacer said.
The 23-year-old returned to the figure of 3-30 in his four overs and had a huge impact in the game. On a slow pitch, Ngidi's off-cutter foxed Ben Stokes into fetching a wide ball and slapping it to long-on in the 18th over, with England 26 runs away from victory and 14 balls remaining.
The South African attack's attention to developing the more nuanced areas of their game has been notable under the coaching of Charl Langeveldt, who was with the team under Russell Domingo and was headhunted from his role in Bangladesh to return in the Mark Boucher era. Ngidi credited Langeveldt with giving him the belief to bowl a variety of different deliveries and trust that the results can be effective.
"He has had a massive impact in terms of the mental side. Having watched him and the way he used to bowl, he has given me a lot of confidence as a young player, knowing someone like that is now on my journey. He has made sure I back the skills that I am good at. Something like that on the back end, where maybe someone would say maybe a change of ball was needed or maybe a yorker, stick to what's working and it worked out just well," Ngidi said. The second match of the three-game T20I series will be played at Kingsmead in Durban on February 14.