South Africa Pacer Lungi Ngidi Ruled Out of 2nd Test against New Zealand

Written by Vishwas Gupta

South Africa paceman Lungi Ngidi has been ruled out of the second and final Test against New Zealand with a back strain, the team said on Thursday. The 25-year-old missed the first Test, which saw South Africa thrashed by an innings and 276 runs in Christchurch over the weekend.

“Because he hasn’t been able to bowl last week, I don’t think his bowling loads are up to the standard of preparing for Test matches,” captain Dean Elgar told reporters.

“He hasn’t been training with us, he’s only been bowling off a short run-up, which has been a bit of a setback for us. We know Lungi’s been a key figure within our bowling lineup. So it’s a bit disappointing that he’s in the situation that he’s in now.”

South Africa went with the four-prong pace attack of Kagiso Rabada, Marco Jansen, Duanne Olivier and Glenton Stuurman in the first Test but the strategy misfired, with New Zealand’s batsmen racking up 482 to set a platform for victory.

Stuurman had a torrid debut, conceding 1-124 at more than four runs an over, and could be replaced by two-Test quick Lutho Sipamla, or Keshav Maharaj if the Proteas opt for a specialist spinner.

With multiple players out of form, Elgar said selection changes were a “big possibility” while declining to name any.

“I’m sure there are guys who are a little bit low in confidence, especially from a batting point of view,” he said of a team that scored just 95 and 111 in the series-opener, their second-worst Test defeat ever.

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Vishwas Gupta