Thando Ntini. Picture: GALLO IMAGES
Thando Ntini. Picture: GALLO IMAGES

Titans coach Mandla Mashimbyi believes the promising Thando Ntini has the potential to become a genuine all-rounder for the Proteas.

Ntini‚ the son of former Proteas fast bowler Makhaya‚ has signed with the Pretoria side from the Cobras in Cape Town where he made his List A and first-class debuts in 2019.

Ntini is also a junior international, having represented SA at the Under-19 World Cup in New Zealand two years ago and he was one of the wild picks for the Paarl Rocks in the Mzansi Super League last season.

“He has done very well as a fast bowler but we need to work on his batting a little more because he could develop into a very good all-rounder‚” says Mashimbyi, who was given the coaching responsibilities at SuperSport Park when Mark Boucher joined the Proteas in 2019.

In his short professional career, Ntini has taken 20 first-class wickets after eight innings‚ claimed 18 scalps after 12 List A innings and five T20 wickets after seven outings.

As Mashimbyi pointed out‚ it is with the bat where the 19-year-old has lacked and needs to improve as he has only managed 73 runs across all three formats.

“I have spoken to him about his batting and he is willing to work hard and improve his game. He is still young and will definitely be given all the necessary support and opportunities to grow in our set-up. We see him becoming an important player for us.”

The Proteas have had all-rounders such as Lance Klusener‚ Jacques Kallis and Vernon Philander over the years, and also experimented with Chris Morris‚ Andile Phehlukwayo‚ Dwaine Pretorius and Wiaan Mulder.

“You must remember that you have different types of all-rounders‚” Mashimbyi says. “Quinton de Kock is also an all-rounder because he keeps wicket and you had someone such as Jacques Kallis who was a batting all-rounder.

“He [Ntini] is more like Vernon Philander, who was a bowling all-rounder, and we will help him improve all aspects of his game.”

Mashimbyi said he was happy that Ntini chose the Titans as he will learn from international players such as Lungi Ngidi and Junior Dala.

“He wanted to come and play here with us and that is what impressed me about him‚” Mashimbyi says. “I believe he was impressed with our systems of giving younger players a chance to prove themselves.

“He will have to come through and fight for his place and show himself‚ us and the country what he can do.”