Sports

Anrich Nortje, in the fast track

In a short span, Anrich Nortje has become the wrecker-in-chief for both South Africa and Delhi Capitals.

Acing the IPL and WC

In IPL 2021, the pace bowler ended up with 12 wickets from just 8 matches at an average of 15.58 and an economy rate of 6.16, with the best of 2/12 and played a crucial role in Delhi Capitals qualifying to the playoffs.

In the 2021 T20 World Cup as well, Anrich Nortje was right on the money and ended up as South Africa’s highest wicket taker with 9 scalps from 5 matches at 11.55 and an economy rate of 5.37.

Anrich Nortje has benefited with the experience that he has gained from the IPL and has grown as a bowler by leaps and bounds.

“The surfaces in Abu Dhabi are definitely slower than Dubai. Sometimes simply bowling variations on a good length is a very good option. Even if you simply change the grip on the ball while hitting the hard length, they’re as good as any variations. Essentially, you try and hit the stumps. You don’t always need to bowl a slower ball or anything on such wickets. We hit the good lengths, not too short or full. End of the day, all our bowlers, Avesh Khan, Kagiso Rabada, all of them do a great job.”

Rabada’s partner in crime

It also helps him immensely that he plays alongside Kagiso Rabada at Delhi capitals, his new-ball bowling mate in his national side as well.

“It’s nice having Kagiso Rabada around, we play a lot together, talk a lot of cricket,” he said. “We talk about bowling, variations, our spells. We communicate as best as possible. What balls do you bowl in these conditions, what do you want to try and what do you want to avoid, essentially, we share as many ideas as possible. And from there, we learn off each other. At the end, having him there, seeing what he’s doing right, what I’m doing right, and learn. Sometimes certain things work, certain things don’t work, but just being able to communicate as freely as possible has been beneficial.”

Top tearway in the world

There is little doubt that Anrich Nortje is among the fastest bowlers of his generation, if not the fastest.

It was a pity that he missed out on the India-South Africa test series. Would have been a spectacle to see him in full flight, wouldn’t it?

Saksham Mishra

Justifying hours of watching sports by scribbling down a few logical lines that might just about hold your interest. Was not talented enough to make it as a professional cricketer, so the next best logical option was to enroll in a Mass Communication course, and write about sports instead. Because, what else is there to write about in this world, right?
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