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Anrich Nortje keen to get stuck in for Proteas under new coaches

Published Jan 24, 2023



Johannesburg - In his relatively short Proteas career Anrich Nortje has worked with quite a number of national team coaches.

From Ottis Gibson to Enoch Nkwe and then Mark Boucher and lastly Malibongwe Maketa, the fast bowler has been through a few.

And now ahead of the three-match one-day international series against England, the bustling fast bowler will meet the latest coach of the Proteas team.

Rob Walter, who has been installed as the new white-ball mentor is not available, so Test coach Shukri Conrad will instead guide the team against England in Bloemfontein and Kimberley.

Nortje is keen to experience the fresh energy and ideas Conrad will bring to the Proteas.

"I have not worked with him before, but I am excited to see what he is going to bring to the table and how we are going to go about things," Nortje said.

"It is literally in and out again so there is not a lot of time to change anything too much. I am really looking forward to working with him."

The England series is of major importance to the Proteas. Their 11th position on the ICC ODI Super League standings, places them in grave danger of missing out on automatic qualification for the World Cup in India later this year.

Anything less than a 3-0 clean sweep could relegate the Proteas to the lottery of a qualifying tournament in Zimbabwe.

It would be a disaster should the Proteas not qualify for the World Cup, especially with the form Nortje is currently exhibiting.

The fast bowler was one of the few shining lights of the Australian Test tour where he reached speeds in excess of 150km/h.

Nortje has since transferred those red-hot performances to the SA20 where he is one of the leading wicket-takers in the tournament, while helping the Pretoria Capitals to the summit of the table.

He is, though, very philosophical about his switch back to the national team this week.

"They (England) are a very good team. I am just focusing on my role and what I can do for the team. There is not much more that I can do," Nortje said.

"I just need to hit my lengths and be on top of my plans. It is going to be similar just a longer format. A bit longer on the feet, but more or less the same plans of trying to execute under pressure."

The Proteas will certainly hope that Nortje can continue his impressive partnership with Capitals captain Wayne Parnell during the England series.

ALSO READ: Pretoria Capitals rout MI Cape Town to cement top spot on the SA20 table

The pair have been devastating in their respective roles as their collective six wickets blew away MI Cape Town at Newlands on Monday evening.

"Bowling with him (Parnell) ... he obviously has a lot of experience, and brings something different to me," Nortje said.

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"The batters are always trying to take him or me on, so that allows one of us to strike. It’s been really good bowling with him."

The Proteas face England in the first ODI on Friday in Bloemfontein.


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