In a significant blow to South Africa’s bowling lineup, fast bowler Lungi Ngidi has been ruled out of the upcoming three-match T20 International series against India. The 27-year-old speedster suffered a left lateral ankle sprain, prompting Cricket South Africa (CSA) to make an official announcement just two days before the series opener.
Ngidi, who was initially slated to play a crucial role in both the T20I and Test series against India, will now return to his provincial team for rehabilitation. The left-arm quick was also expected to feature in a round of four-day matches in mid-December, but his injury has forced a change in plans.
The official statement from CSA on December 8 cited Ngidi’s left lateral ankle sprain as the reason for his exclusion from the T20I series. The Proteas medical team will oversee Ngidi’s rehabilitation process, with a focus on ensuring his full recovery.
In Ngidi’s absence, CSA has named fellow fast bowler Beuran Hendricks as his replacement for the T20I series against India. Hendricks will be shouldering the responsibility of filling the void left by Ngidi’s absence and contributing to South Africa’s pace attack.
While Ngidi’s setback is a cause for concern in the short format, CSA is optimistic about his recovery for the two-match Test series against India, which is scheduled to commence on December 26. The Test matches are crucial for both teams as they form a part of the ongoing 2023-25 ICC World Test Championship (WTC) cycle.