South African pacer Lungi Ngidi recently opened up about his time with four-time IPL champions Chennai Super Kings (CSK). The 25-year-old was roped in by the franchise at the 2018 Auction for a sum of ₹50 Lakhs.
Ngidi elaborated on the prospect of playing under the guidance of MS Dhoni across the three seasons he represented the franchise. He primarily credited the former India skipper for helping him figure out how to construct his bowling spell over the course of an innings.
Speaking to Times Now Cricket, Ngidi said:
"I think the main thing is just the control that he has over the team and on the field, he really does bring a sense of calm. I’ve also learnt a lot more in my time that I’ve been with CSK just under his captaincy in terms of field settings, game plans and how to construct my bowling within an inning. I think from that moment it has really helped me grow as a cricketer."
Ngidi even recalled a particular instance where MS Dhoni's presence of mind worked in his favor and effectively for the team as well. The pacer narrated:
"It was the final against the Sunrisers (Hyderabad) in 2018, we hadn’t discussed a certain field placement but he automatically just changed my field and with that field, within a couple of balls, we got a wicket to the fielder that he had moved. "
"So for me, that’s one thing that sticks out in my mind because in a final, to have such a moment like that and to execute the plan that he wanted, really gave me confidence in terms of how to bowl. It just showed me how in tune he is with the game in terms of how he sees it’s going to play out and it played out exactly the way I think he thought it was going to."
The clash against Sunrisers Hyderabad was the final of the 2018 edition held at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai. The season marked CSK's return after a two-year ban. Ngidi chipped in with an economical spell of 1-26 with the wicket of Deepak Hooda in the death overs.
"I think Ruturaj Gaikwad and Shardul Thakur are really going to set the IPL on fire" - Lungi Ngidi
When asked about the upcoming mega auction, Ngidi claimed that the platform for an opportunity is the beauty of the competition. The Proteas star was not retained by the franchise, who instead went with the quartet of MS Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, Moeen Ali and Ruturaj Gaikwad. He named two of his former CSK teammates as the ones to watch out for in the 15th edition of the IPL. He concluded:
"I’m not too sure because even with the last mega auction, I wasn’t really sure what was gonna happen I guess that’s the beautiful thing about IPL, anyone can get an opportunity but yeah I’m really excited to see Ruturaj (Gaikwad) again, you know what he did last season was absolutely amazing and Shardul (Thakur) has really been doing well in international cricket right now so I think those two are really gonna set the IPL on fire. I’m excited to see what they can do and I’m excited to see what’s gonna happen in this auction."
Gaikwad earned a T20 debut and a call-up to the ODI squad on the back of his impressive IPL campaign and the ensuing domestic season. Shardul Thakur, on the other hand, has become a regular in the Indian setup with his all-round exploits.