‘It was a special performance from Ngidi’


Proteas skipper Faf du Plessis offered unreserved praise for young fast bowler Lungi Ngidi after his man of the match performance on Test debut.

Ngidi took 6 for 49 in the fourth innings as the Proteas beat India by 135 runs at Supersport Park in Centurion on Wednesday.

The quick, who plays his franchise cricket for the Titans in Centurion, blasted doubts about his readiness for Test cricket out of the water as he produced a number of ferocious spells of fast bowling.

Ngidi claimed the prize scalp of Virat Kohli on the fourth evening to put the hosts on top and was a big part of the effort that saw South Africa rout the tourists on the final day.

Speaking after the match skipper Faf du Plessis said:  "It was a special performance from Ngidi.

"He's a great guy and we welcome him into the team. He has an amazing future. We always look for personalities with new players and he is a fantastic human being. We're looking forward to seeing him and KG (Rabada) carry this attack in the future."

The skipper was thrilled with the effort of his team who were made to work very hard for their win on an atypical Supersport Park pitch.

Du Plessis added: "Obviously over the last five days it took a lot of hard work. We had to put a lot in – bowling and batting were tough but we were on top most of the time. 

"In the field particularly, we were amazing. We were very disappointed after the last 45 minutes on day one and we knew we'd need some more character after that. We knew anything over 250 would be challenging."

Ngidi himself conceded that the enormity of what he achieved has yet to really hit home.

He said after receiving his man of the match award: "It hasn't really sunk in. I'm chuffed with my performance. 

"I just tried to keep it simple – just hang it outside off-stump. There was a bit of movement off the pitch and the one that came back in seemed to get wickets. It wasn't the fastest pitch so we had to adapt to the conditions and use what we had to make do with."

South Africa clinched the series having taken a 2-0 lead with one Test to play.