DUBAI - Lungi Ngidi may not have played much of an active part in the Chennai Super Kings march to the Indian Premier League title, but the Proteas fast bowler had a much more important role ahead of this T20 World Cup.
Ngidi, as he did during last IPL, was gathering information on the conditions expected in the United Arab Emirates and he is now a valuable source of information particularly in determining the different strategies for day and night games.
"I have been here for a while, even last year we played the IPL leg this side, so I think am pretty familiar with the wickets in terms of how they play. All the info we have is pretty useful and looking to implement that at the T20 World Cup," Ngidi said on Thursday.
"It's obviously a lot hotter during the day. The UAE sun is always blaring. The conditions do change a bit. The wickets are a lot drier with the sun out. Probably turns a bit more and a bit slower. In the evening the dew comes into play."
Ngidi has also been on a strenuous personal journey to get to this T20 World Cup. He missed the Sri Lanka series and spent time with former Proteas fitness trainer Greg King at the Super Kings to work his way into a position to retake his place in the Proteas squad.
The work done with "Kingers" seems to have paid off with Ngidi putting in two solid shifts in the warm-up matches against Afghanistan and Pakistan this week.
Furthermore, Ngidi's confidence has soared by returning to a Proteas team that is currently on a joint record streak of T20 wins after three successive series wins over West Indies, Ireland and Sri Lanka.
"We have ticked all the boxes that we need to. Since the West Indies T20 tour we have been pretty successful. Even though I missed out one one of the series I think the momentum shift was still in a positive direction," he said.
"It feels great to be back with the guys. Also felt good to be out playing. Really enjoyed it to be honest. I am looking forward to a few more games and putting in a few more good performances.
"And even rejoining the guys now you can just tell that the guys are moving in the right direction. All that's left now is pretty much go out and play."
The Proteas open their T20 World Cup campaign against Australia in Abu Dhabi tomorrow (12pm SA time start).