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Relaxed Ngidi unfazed by 'chokers' tag as he heads to his first World Cup

Lungi Ngidi during the South African national men's cricket team training session at Powerade Centre of Excellence on Thursday.
Lungi Ngidi during the South African national men's cricket team training session at Powerade Centre of Excellence on Thursday.
Image: Lee Warren

In their quest to obliterate the discussion around the obdurate "chokers"  tag prior to heading off to the Cricket World Cup on Sunday, the Proteas have looked to change the narrative coming from their camp where the importance of adaptability, bowling variety and resilience have become paramount.

Such is the change of mindset, young fast bowler Lungi Ngidi emphatically dismissed the suggestion there might be any residual psychological scars still lingering from the near misses of the past.

Ngidi, making his comeback from a side strain injury, declared his mood as "very relaxed" , and focused on doing well in his first World Cup.

'I was not there, so that has nothing to do with me. It's not like there is anything we can do about it. I'm very relaxed. It is my first World Cup, not the end of the world. what we have and do now," Ngidi said this week.

The 23-year old is more forthcoming on the flat nature on the English surfaces and the high scoring exploits of the hosts' current series against Pakistan and its headline- grabbing totals in the run up to the tournament. He felt they have the armoury to deal with the different conditions.

"I'm not all concerned with that. We are not all the same type of bowlers so, you know, certain people can adapt a lot better than other bowling attacks on certain surfaces, and as you can see, we've got spinners like Imran Tahir, bowlers like Dale and Rabada, people that have topped charts in terms of rankings, so if you look at that, I think our bowling attack will be fine in England," said Ngidi.   

"People like to see high totals, so they are probably going to do as best as they can to prepare wickets like that. But that is not a fear that you should have as an international bowler, on any given day, there could be three down and next thing you know, a flat wicket all of sudden does not look so flat. I'm not too worried about that, but if the wickets are good to bat on, then our batsmen will have to capitalise on that, and we have to defend the score, plain and simple," Ngidi said.

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