South Africa pacer Lungi Ngidi on Thursday (January 14) said the Indian team’s reactions to the DRS call which saved captain Dean Elgar showed their frustration and them being under pressure. Ravichandran Ashwin had Elgar trapped lbw but the South Africa skipper reviewed and ball-tracking showed that the ball would go over the stumps, surprising the Indian team with some reactions heard on stump mic from Ashwin, Virat Kohli and his deputy KL Rahul.
“I think reactions like that show a bit of frustration. Sometimes teams capitalise on that. You never really want to show too much emotion but I guess we could clearly see right up there those emotions were high and probably tells us that maybe they are feeling a little bit of pressure. That was a really good partnership for us, so they wanted to really break that. I think those feelings were showing up there. At the end of the day, everyone reacts differently to certain situations,” said Ngidi in the post-day press conference.
Ngidi further backed the DRS system. “Yes (on trusting DRS). I mean, we’ve seen it on numerous occasions being used all around the world. It’s a system in place and that’s used in cricket.”
At stumps, South Africa are 101/2 with Keegan Petersen unbeaten at 48. South Africa need 111 runs with eight wickets in hand to win on day four. Ngidi felt both teams have a chance to win the match with the first session on Friday going to be an important one.
“I think everyone is still in the game. I mean, if we were to have a 60-run partnership upfront tomorrow morning, that puts us in a good position. But if they were to take early wickets, that sets for them. It’s perfectly poised at the moment. Tomorrow’s morning session is going to be really important for both teams.”
Watch the controversial DRS decision involving Dean Elgar here…
Talking about the pitch at Cape Town, Ngidi remarked, “I think the ball has been doing something in the entire Test series. There is a stage where I think there’s patches on the wicket where if you hit it, it does something a little bit more than others. But, all in all, I think we can see that with patience, guys can score hundreds out there and two seventies already. With the right application, there’s runs in the wicket. As a bowler, if you hit the right areas, then there’s wickets as well. It`s a good cricketing wicket. Everyone is in the game and it’s evenly matched up in my opinion.”
Ngidi’s three-wicket burst on Thursday took out Kohli, Ashwin and Shardul Thakur, which was critical in India collapsing from 152/4 to 198 all out in the second innings. He put it down to the team not being a bunch of superstars and different bowlers raising their hands to do the job.
“From the outset, the first Test match, the type of language we were speaking in the change room that there are going to be moments when someone is going to put up their hand. We are not going out there with a team full of superstars, we got players who have good cricketing brains,” the former Chennai Super Kings pacer said.
“It’s always a team effort. Someone not able to take wickets, you make sure to keep the runs down and if it’s your day, you cash in. That session for me was my session. On other days, it has been Marco (Jansen), KG (Kagiso Rabada) and others in the first innings, for us kept it really quiet. So, it’s been an all-round effort.”
The 25-year-old signed off by lavishing praise on youngster Jansen, who’s taken 19 wickets in the series. “He’s taken Test cricket like a duck to water. He had a bit of nerves in the first Test, in the first bowling spell. But ever since, he’s clearly put his stamp down in Test cricket and as a part of this team as well. Very proud of him.
“He’s got that fighting spirit and wants to do well for the team. I see a bright future for him as well and can also shine with the bat as well. We are yet to see that but he`s been great with the ball and will see a lot of Jansen.”