"Not Bothered About Who's Fastest": South Africa Pacer On Umran Malik Comparisons
Anrich Nortje talked about comparisons with Indian speedster Umran Malik and how his focus remains on winning games for the team rather than competing to bowl the fastest ball.
South Africa pacer Anrich Nortje is one of the fastest bowlers going around the world as he has the ability to hit the 150kmph mark consistently. The pacer has taken three wickets so far in the ongoing five-match T20I series against India and is one of the main bowlers in the South African attack. The visitors are currently leading the five-match series 2-1 and a day prior to the fourth T20I in Rajkot, Nortje talked about comparisons with Indian speedster Umran Malik and how his focus remains on winning games for the team rather than competing to bowl the fastest ball.
"Yeah, at this stage, I am not bothered about who is the fastest (bowler). Not really bothered about it who is the fastest and what the speed gun is, it is about contributing for the team. When I do train, when I am not playing, you obviously think about how can you get fast with the way you train, whatever you are doing. In the back of my mind, it would be something I will keep on striving towards but it is not something I think about when I go to the field," said Nortje during a press conference on Thursday.
"Umran Malik very good bowler, very fast bowler. He has shown what he can do. If he gets faster, great for him. If I get faster, great for me. I do not think we are at the stage where we are competing to bowl the fastest ball, it is about winning games and trying to contribute," he added.
The 28-year-old also said that he is not 100 per cent yet but is slowly getting there. He also said how his recovery period will help him stay in good stead going ahead.
"No. Not yet. Still working on it, still trying to find out one or two things. And body-wise, just getting there. It is about slowly increasing and slowly building it up. Not 100 per cent there where I want to be. I probably rate myself from where I was last year, end of IPL, the start of World Cup so still trying to get there," said Nortje.
"It is hard because some of the stuff is limited, some of the bowling is limited. You cannot always go out there and bowl 8-9 overs a day, so it is very limited. But so far, it has been a good challenge, it is something that will help me in the future. If there are any niggles or injuries going forward, some important things to take out from this," he added.
When asked about the Proteas bench strength, Nortje said: "I think everyone has been in good sort of form, everyone has been either playing in the IPL or training quite hard back home. It is nice to see that the guys who are on the bench are really almost performing better than the guys on the pitch at some stage. It would be really good to see when they get an opportunity, and how they go. I think Lungi Ngidi has not played for a long time, so excited to see if they go get an opportunity and how they go whenever they get an opportunity."