After South Africa’s demolition of England within 3 days, the world is taking note of their bowling attack.
The 4 man attack comprising Anrich Nortje, Marco Jansen, Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ndidi is being touted as the best pace attack in world cricket.
While each of them has their distinctive style, the quickest among the lot is Anrich Nortje.
He has shown an ability to consistently bowl above 145 kmph and goes above 150 kmph too occasionally.
However, Anrich is not just about pace. He has the discipline to bowl in the right lengths and it’s no surprise that his wicket tally in 13 Tests is an impressive 53, at an average of 27.
Nortje was outstanding in the 1st Test as he finished with match figures of 6-110 helping South Africa complete an authoritative victory to go 1-0 up in a three-match series.
All the four bowlers were amongst the wickets but Rabada stole the show in the first innings with a superb 5-62.
In the second innings, Nortje turned the match on its head with a three wicket burst, ultimately finishing with 3-63.
He grabbed three wickets for no runs in 10 balls to have Jonny Bairstow, Alex Lees and Ben Foakes all caught behind.
Interestingly, Nortje highlighted skipper Dean Elgar’s role in his performance.
Anrich Nortje paid tribute to captain Dean Elgar’s “honesty” after the Proteas completed the innings defeat by 12 runs.
“Dean is quite straight forward,” Nortje said.
“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 sometimes gets carried away with short-pitched bowling, added “He will tell you if the line or length is not good enough. He is precise and blunt.”
“I am really enjoying having him as a captain and it is nice to have that honesty from a captain as well.”
It’s clear that Elgar has built a formidable Test team under his captaincy and the best part is, the players are feeding off each other.
Says Nortje, “It is an unbelievable attack.”
“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.”
The results are thee to see!
South Africa were already top of the World Test Championship table before this game.
After their Lords victory, they have now won eight of their 10 matches since Elgar became the Test captain.