If Gibson wants pace then Lungi must play at Centurion

If Gibson wants pace then Lungi must play at Centurion

January 23, 2018 0 By Shafiek Mouton

Lungi Ngidi in action in the Sunfoil series, Pic: Rekord East

Dale Steyn’s latest injury means that at least one change will be made to the Proteas team for the second Freedom test against India which starts at Supersport Park, Centurion on Saturday. Steyn suffered a foot injury in the first test at Newlands and has been ruled out of the series as a result of that. The selectors have called up Lungi Ngidi and Duanne Olivier as cover for the “Phalaborwa Express”.

The uncapped Ngidi should be the favourite to take Steyn’s place as as he comes in with form having recently taken a career best 9 for 83 in his only Sunfoil series game and also took 2 for 15 in the Ram Slam T20 final. What’s been more impressive has been Ngidi’s control and pace as he was regularly bowling at over 140kph. The 21 year old has played 3 T20’s for the Proteas thus far and impressed by taking 6 wickets including best figures of 4 for 19 and only went for 5.50 per over. He has also already taken 31 first class wickets in just 9 matches at a very impressive average of only 20.45 with a best of 6 for 37. Olivier on the other hand has failed to establish himself in the test team after having made his debut at the beginning of last year against Sri Lanka in Johannesburg. He recently played two tests against Bangladesh but failed to impress as he took just 5 wickets in 4 innings. He has also missed a couple of the Knights’ domestic games through injury.

All-rounder, Chris Morris, also comes into contention for selection as he would bulk up the batting line up and shorten a slightly long looking tail with Vernon Philander coming in at number 7. The selectors can also choose to play 7 batsmen which means that Temba Bavuma would come in at and bat at number 6 with keeper Quinton de Kock at 7 and Philander or Morris at 8.

Left arm spinner, Keshav Maharaj, may also miss out after coach Ottis Gibson has hinted that pace and seam will be the way that the Proteas plan to bring Virat Kohli and co to their knees. If that is the case then both Ngidi and Morris will play at their home ground.

The Proteas lead the 3 match series 1-0.

Possible Proteas team:

1. Dean Elgar

2. Aiden Markram

3. Hashim Amla

4. AB de Villiers

5. Faf du Plessis (Captain)

6. Quinton de Kock

7. Chris Morris

8. Vernon Philander

9. Kagiso Rabada

10. Morne Morkel

11. Lungi Ngidi