Chennai Super Kings (CSK) fast bowler Lungi Ngidi admitted the way Ruturaj Gaikwad and Faf du Plessis were hitting the ball made him nervous as a bowler.
The South African speed gun was happy to contribute to CSK’s 18-run win in his first appearance of IPL 2021.
CSK put up 220 on the board against Kolkata Knight Riders on Wednesday night. The opening duo notched up a 115 run partnership, with Gaikwad (64) and Du Plessis (95*) powering CSK to a match-winning total.
“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,” Ngidi mentioned.
Lungi Ngidi came in for Dwayne Bravo against KKR and hit the ground running straight away. On a day when Shardul Thakur and Sam Curran conceded around 15 rpo, Ngiid boasted an economy of just seven. The 25-year-old ended with figures of 3/28 in his four overs and hailed the impact Dwayne Bravo has had on his game.
“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,” Ngidi revealed.
Gaikwad breaks down CSK's impressive opening stand
The game was also a special one for Ruturaj Gaikwad, with the under-fire opener finally performing with the bat. He had scored just 20 runs before the KKR clash but silenced his critics with a sublime 42 ball 64 on Wednesday. Gaikwad was happy to return to form as he looked forward to continuing his run.
“Obviously, it feels good, but the icing on the cake is that the team won. It feels good when you contribute to the team and we as a team end up winning. It was a great experience, looking forward to having many more knocks as well,” Gaikwad said.
The aggressive opening stand set up the foundation for CSK’s brilliant batting effort. The openers came out of the blocks against KKR, with both Gaikwad and du Plessis middling their shots from ball one. In what was CSK’s highest opening stand of the season, Ruturaj Gaikwad dissected his partnership with Faf du Plessis.
“With Faf, it is pretty easy. He has those innovation skills so he takes on the bowlers. Makes my job a little bit easier. But today it was more about taking my time. We were playing on a small ground and the wicket was good, and after a time we had to keep going. The combination was going, one over I used to take chances and the other over he used to take chances. It wasn’t planned, but having each other’s knowledge aknowing each other helped,” Gaikwad told Lungi Ngidi.
The thrilling win puts CSK top of the table with a healthy Net Run Rate (NRR) of 1.142. The Men in Yellow will play Royal Challengers Bangalore in their next game on April 25.