Over the years the batting-friendly pitch at the Wankhede has instilled apprehensions in the minds of even the best of the bowlers. On Wednesday, Lungi Ngidi, playing his first IPL 2021 game, felt it too, when his own team was scoring runs against the Kolkata Knight Riders.
The Chennai Super Kings posted a gigantic total of 220 on the back of a superb start from its openers, Ruturaj Gaikwad and Faf du Plessis. Lungi Ngidi, after CSK’s 18-run victory, said that as a bowler, he got nervous watching the batters score runs at an alarming rate.
However, all nervousness disappeared when Deepak Chahar ran riot through the KKR top-order with 4 consecutive wickets; Lungi Ngidi too joined the act with Rahul Tripathi’s wicket in the last over of the powerplay pushing KKR to 31/5 inside 6 overs.
“It was good (on his first appearance of the season). Watching you guys out there dominate the bowlers makes a bowler a bit nervous in the change room. It was good to get out there and a few early wickets helped.
“Deepak Chahar was on fire so I just tried to back him up a bit. Throughout the innings, I just tried to chip away at their batsmen. They were flowing at a stage, hitting boundaries for fun. I just tried to keep taking wickets,” Lungi Ngidi said in a video released by the IPL.
I had to come in and fill Bravo’s shoes: Lungi Ngidi
The 25-year-old came in place of Dwayne Bravo, who was rested after playing the first three matches. The Protea pacer acknowledges that it was some big shoes to fill.
And he did his job brilliantly – in a game where over 400 runs were scored, Lungi Ngidi returned with figures of 3/28, including the important wicket of Dinesh Karthik, foxing the batsman with a slower delivery, for which he gives credit to Bravo.
“There was a lot of pressure, Bravo has been doing very well for CSK. So, I had to come in and fill his shoes. Have worked very closely with Bravo on the slower bowls at the death. One of the slower bowls he has been teaching me for a long time came off and got us a wicket,” the South African stated.
With 3 wins on a trot, after losing the first match, MS Dhoni’s side sits at the top of the points table. They will next meet Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore on Sunday afternoon.