- Sep 23, 2023
- Nov 6, 2022
South Africa fast bowler, Anrich Nortje hailed captain Dean Elgar’s ‘honesty’ after the Proteas thrashed England by an innings and 12 runs in the first Test played at the home of cricket -The Lord’s. Nortje finished with match figures of 6-110, helping South Africa win comprehensively and take a 1-0 series lead in a three-match series.
The speedster was at his very best, cloaking speeds of 90 mph (145 kph) and even exceeding 95 mph at one point. He was, especially, lethal after Lunch on Friday. In the post-lunch session, he took three crucial wickets for no runs in a span of just 10 balls and had Jonny Bairstow, Alex Lees, and Ben Foakes all caught behind.
The England batters just could not escape the wrath of the South African bowling attack. The England side, who were in decent batting form, could not cross 200 even once. South Africa’s bowlers have sealed the game in three days itself and have given themselves some extra rest ahead of the second Test at Manchester’s Old Trafford on August 25 (Thursday).
The appointment of Dean Elgar as skipper in the red-ball format has done wonders for the South African side. Under his leadership, the Proteas have won eight of their last ten games at this level. As a result, South Africa found itself at the top of the WTC points table and in touching distance of booking a berth at the World Test Championship Final.
“Dean is quite straight forward,” Nortje told reporters after stumps.” “If he thinks you’re not playing your A-game, he’ll tell you and the whole team respects that. We need that. You need someone to tell you and not to beat around the bush.”
Nortje, who at times got carried away with short-pitched bowling at Lord’s before reverting to a fuller length, added: “He will tell you if it is, not good enough, and at stages that is what happened.
“At stages he thought what I was doing is the right thing and he encourages me to bring energy and bowl quick because that’s my job — to bowl quick, to try to bring energy and momentum for the team. It paid off here and hopefully it pays off again but he does encourage me to try to express myself as a bowler,” Nortje explained.
“I am really enjoying having him as a captain and it is nice to have that honesty from a captain as well.”
Nortje has been instrumental in his team’s rise in red-ball cricket. He is a crucial member of the potent four-man pace attack that also includes spearhead Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi, and Marco Jansen.
The quartet was on the money from the get-go, taking all of England’s wickets in the first innings. Rabada led the way with an incredible fifer, whereas Nortje provided good support with 3-63.
“It is an unbelievable attack and guys have shown what they can do,” said Nortje.
“Everyone covers a different aspect in their own department and it is just really nice to be joining up and playing red-ball cricket with the team again.
“KG (Rabada) did unbelievably well for us in this game as well.”
Nortje has been part of 13 Tests and taken 53 wickets at an average of 27, having spent six months out of the national team nursing back and hip injuries following last year’s T20 World Cup.