Lungi Ngidi cracks test squad nod

Lungi Ngidi of the Titans celebrates the wicket of Jon-Jon Smuts of the Warriors during the RAM SLAM T20 Challenge, Semi Final match between Multiply Titans and Warriors at SuperSport Park on December 13, 2017 in Pretoria.
Lungi Ngidi of the Titans celebrates the wicket of Jon-Jon Smuts of the Warriors during the RAM SLAM T20 Challenge, Semi Final match between Multiply Titans and Warriors at SuperSport Park on December 13, 2017 in Pretoria.
Image: Lee Warren/Gallo Images

Uncapped Lungi Ngidi has been added to South Africa’s squad for the second test against India in Centurion.

Duanne Olivier has also been added to the mix in the wake of Dale Steyn being ruled out of the rest of the series after sustaining a heel injury while bowling in the first test at Newlands on Saturday.

“I really felt for him because he’d done a lot of hard work to get back to where he was‚” South Africa coach Ottis Gibson said on Monday his team won by 72 runs‚ effectively in three days.

The Newlands match was Steyn’s return to test cricket after 13 months out with a broken shoulder and torn muscles.

He will be sidelined for up to six weeks‚ and could get a crack at taking the three wickets he needs to overhaul Shaun Pollock as South Africa’s champion test bowler when the series against Australia starts at Kingsmead on March 1.

As sad as that is for Steyn‚ the pre-eminent fast bowler of the age‚ it’s exciting that a talent like Ngidi has cracked the nod.

“I’ve heard a lot of really good things about him‚ and when we get to Pretoria for preparation he’ll be there with us‚” Gibson said about the Titans fast bowler.

Ngidi‚ just 21‚ has played only nine first-class matches but has already claimed three five-wicket hauls among his 31 scalps.

He played three T20s for South Africa against Sri Lanka in January‚ and impressed by removing the Lankans’ entire top four for 19 runs at the Wanderers.

Olivier has played five tests‚ most recently against Bangladesh in Bloemfontein in October‚ when he took match figures of 4/79.

South Africa test squad: Faf du Plessis (captain)‚ Hashim Amla‚ Temba Bavuma‚ Quinton de Kock‚ Theunis de Bruyn‚ AB de Villiers‚ Dean Elgar‚ Keshav Maharaj‚ Aiden Markram‚ Morne Morkel‚ Chris Morris‚ Lungi Ngidi‚ Duanne Olivier‚ Andile Phehlukwayo‚ Vernon Philander‚ Kagiso Rabada.

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