Pacer Lungi Ngidi has got a new spring in his stride after delivering an excellent last over in the first T20I versus England on Wednesday (February 12) to help South Africa win by one run as he now wishes to be Proteas' go-to guy at all stages in white-ball cricket.
Ngidi, who has only recently made a comeback following a lengthy injury sabbatical that saw him miss the entire Test series, is determined to take his game in the limited-overs versions to another level.
"I guess it's a mental thing, to be able to finish off well in situations that require you to," ESPNcricinfo quoted the fast bowler as saying before the second T20I in Durban on Friday (February 14). "It takes a lot out of your mental side."
"Physically, obviously I am trying as best as I can to get back to the pace that I was at and to hit the areas that I am known for hitting," he added. "But at the moment, it's just trying to keep that confidence going of doing my job at the back end and closing out very well."
His self-belief was apparent as Ngidi trusted his methods to come through despite defending only 7 runs off the last over, and the 23-year-old thanked bowling coach Charl Langeveldt for the same having strengthened the mental side of his bowling under his guidance.
"He has had a massive impact in terms of the mental side," Ngidi said. "Having watched him and the way he used to bowl, he has given me a lot of confidence as a young player, knowing someone like that is now on my journey. He has made sure I back the skills that I am good at."
"Something like that on the back end, where maybe someone would say maybe a change of ball was needed or maybe a yorker, stick to what's working and it worked out just well."
Performances like these help, Ngidi realises, with the stiff competition around, as he strives to become one of South Africa's most dependable asset.
"We know that there are a lot of fast bowlers fighting for a spot so you've got to be on your A game," he added. "If you're not quite there, someone else is going to come in and do the job you're supposed to be doing. I don't plan on letting anyone take my spot so I am just going to keep playing as best as I can."
(Inputs from ESPNcricinfo)