It couldn't have been a better debut for 21-year-old South African fact bowler Lungi Ngidi. The debutant bowled a match-winning spell of 6/39 in the second innings to down India by 135 runs taking an unassailable 2-0 lead over the visitors. India succumbed to his pace and variations and eventually lost the second Test at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Wednesday. India had resumed the fifth and final day on 35/3 with Cheteshwar Pujara and Parthiv Patel at the crease. They got off to the worst possible start to Day 5 when Pujara was run out for 19, becoming the first Indian batsman ever to be run out in both innings of a Test match.
Ngidi had already outfoxed opener Lokesh Rahul and the Indian skipper Virat Kohli for 5 runs on the fourth day, dismissing him LBW. He continued from where he had left on Day 5 too. He then sent back, Hardik Pandya, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah to complete his best bowling figures on his debut Test.
He also took the solitary wicket of Parthiv in the first innings. His performance didn't go unnoticed as the present and former cricketers like Sanjay Manjrekar and Virender Sehwag lauded the youngster for his ferocious bowling spell.
Here's how Twitter applauded the pacer.
Ngidi has been absolutely sensational...playing in place of Steyn....and didn't let anyone miss the great man. Super Debut. #SAvIND— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) January 17, 2018
Congratulations South Africa on another wonderful performance.— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) January 17, 2018
Lungi very impressive. Well tried , India.
Series win. Well done men— Dale Steyn (@DaleSteyn62) January 17, 2018
Special performance from Lungi, well done bud#ProteasFire
What a wonderful and hugely impressive debut for Lungi Ngidi— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) January 17, 2018
The 3rd and final Test of the series will be played at Johannesburg from January 24. India will also play 6 ODIs and 3 T20Is before wrapping up the tour on February 24.