Proteas target whitewash after 'tough' summer

Lungi Ngidi (AFP)
Lungi Ngidi (AFP)

Proteas fast bowler Lungi Ngidi insisted that Saturday's final ODI against Australia will not be a dead-rubber as South Africa eye a whitewash.

Ngidi took a career-best 6/58 as the Proteas took a 2-0 lead in the three-match ODI series on Wednesday with a 6-wicket victory in Bloemfontein.

That victory saw Proteas coach Mark Boucher record his first series win since his appointment last year in December.

Speaking ahead of Saturday's third and final ODI in Potchefstroom, Ngidi revealed that this series win has put a smile on the Proteas' faces after a difficult summer.

"It's lovely to be in this position because it gives us the chance to whitewash (Australia) and that's something we want to go for," said Ngidi on Thursday.

"It's been tough on the team lately so this series win has put a smile on a lot of their faces.

"We're not the finished product yet. There's still a lot to work towards, it's no means a dead rubber game. It's another chance for players to put up their hands and get selected for future games."

A hamstring injury ruled Ngidi out of South Africa's 3-1 Test series loss to England with the paceman coming steadily along in the shorter formats.

On Wednesday, the 23-year-old became the fastest South African bowler to take 50 ODI wickets in 26 ODIs, surpassing Lonwabo Tsotsobe (27 ODIs).

"It feels good to put in a performance like that having been out for a while," said Ngidi.

"Having had a few injuries, the comeback is always vital... The main focus is to try and perform as best as I can for the team... I'm very happy to achieve something like that."

Following Saturday's final ODI in Potchefstroom, the Proteas will travel to India for three ODIs between 12-18 March.

Ngidi believes a whitewash against Australia will bode well leading up to their sub-continent tour.

"It'll bring a lot of confidence for the players and coaches. A series and a whitewash will put us in a very good position ahead of India."

Play on Saturday begins at 10:00.

- Compiled by Lynn Butler

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England 121/2 (41.1 ov)
Pakistan 0
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England 121/2 (41.1 ov)
Pakistan 0
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