With the three-Test series between England and South Africa going into the decider at The Oval from September 8, the visitors are expected to return to the pace quartet of Lungi Ngidi, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje and left-arm quick Marco Jansen, and Ngidi says that with four fast bowlers the Proteas have some “serious ammunition” to clinch the series.
The three-Test series is currently level at 1-all, with South African taking the opener at Lord’s and Ben Stokes’ England striking back in the second game at Manchester.
“Everyone expected us to be under pressure with the way England have been playing but we know what we’re capable of,” said Ngidi to Daily Mail on Wednesday ahead of the third and final Test. “We didn’t get to No. 1 by chance. How we played at Lord’s is the brand of cricket we want to play,” the pace bowler added.
South Africa thrashed England by an innings and 12 runs at Lord’s before the hosts returned the favour, winning by an innings and 85 runs.
“Throw the first punch and you put yourself in a good position to win the Test. With four fast bowlers together, it gave us serious ammunition and it’s exciting to see what could be. People know what to expect if you see us four in the line-up,” added Ngidi.
If Dean Elgar’s team wins the series, it would emulated Graeme Smith’s sides of 2008 and 2012.
Ngidi said the 11-day break from cricket had helped the side recharge its batteries. The second Test ended within three days, on August 27, and the unusually long break ahead of The Oval Test has been welcomed by the visitors.
“The time away helped. It’s been a long tour but the focus is back, especially after the week we’ve had away from cricket. Sometimes that’s all it takes. And the guys are really excited because there’s something pretty big on the line. Winning against England in England. Not many teams can say that,” said Ngidi.
Experts felt Elgar should not have tampered with the winnings combination from the opening Test, but the Proteas skipper replaced a seamer for an extra spinner at Manchester, which proved costly after their four-pronged pace attack had crushed England at Lord’s.