Struggling Nortje ‘in a perfect storm’

The Proteas will always look to make the most of Anrich Nortje’s biggest strength, ‘pure pace’, says coach Rob Walter.

Proteas coach Rob Walter is backing Anrich Nortje to get back to his best at the T20 World Cup.

The 30-year-old fast bowler has struggled since recovering from a back stress fracture that ruled him out of last year’s ODI World Cup and this year’s SA20.

Nortje had a disappointing IPL campaign for the Delhi Capitals, taking seven wickets in six matches at an economy rate of 13.36.

He also struggled in the T20I series against the West Indies, conceding 73 runs off six overs across two matches without taking a wicket.

“It’s a strange one. This game is a funny one.  I spent the week with Anrich, and I genuinely don’t feel he’s too far away, to be honest,” Walter told News24.

“The situation has been challenging for him. The conditions really have not been against him, but it’s been tough for a fast bowler. And coming up against a side [the West Indies], who were pretty brutal, to be honest, if you were off the mark, is tough.

“Anrich would probably experience the exact same thing, having come off a break into his first game at the IPL. So, he’s probably landed himself in a perfect storm, which, in many ways, can harden you and get you even more ready.

“I still don’t believe he’s very far away. You know, a world-class performer finds a way. I don’t doubt that he will as well.”

Walter said the Proteas would always look to make the most of Nortje’s biggest strength – pure pace – even on slower West Indian wickets that require more variation from the quicks.

“Ideally, you want to use every person’s X-factor to the best of your ability. But the game is so fluid, so I think you have a starting idea of how you want to use a certain player and then the game tells you what is required. But always, if we weren’t using him, we wouldn’t be able to do anything.

“If we weren’t using his X-factor, which is his pace, then, you know, then what would we be using? So, definitely always looking to use that 150-plus speed that he has.”

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Proteas T20 World Cup squad: Aiden Markram (c), Ottniel Baartman, Gerald Coetzee, Quinton de Kock, Bjorn Fortuin, Reeza Hendricks, Marco Jansen, Heinrich Klaasen, Keshav Maharaj, David Miller, Anrich Nortje, Kagiso Rabada, Ryan Rickelton, Tabraiz Shamsi, Tristan Stubbs.

Proteas’ T20 World Cup fixtures:
Monday, June 3: vs Sri Lanka, New York, 16:30 (SA time)
Saturday, June 8: vs Netherlands, New York, 16:30 (SA time)
Monday, June 10: vs Bangladesh, New York, 16:30 (SA time)
Saturday, June 15: vs Nepal, St Vincent, 01:30 (SA time)

The post Struggling Nortje ‘in a perfect storm’ appeared first on SA Cricketmag.

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