Forgive Anrich Nortje for shrugging off any Proteas excitement

Anrich Nortje of South Africa bowls during the South Africa national cricket team training session and press conference at Punjab Cricket Association IS Bindra Stadium on September 17, 2019 in Mohali, India. (Photo by Isuru Sameera/Gallo Images)

The lanky quick has a good reason for dampening expectations.

You can forgive Anrich Nortje for not jumping for joy at the prospect of him making his Proteas T20 debut against India in Mohali on Wednesday afternoon (SA time).

Take this into consideration.

A stunning start to last year’s inaugural Mzansi Super League for the Cape Town Blitz saw him clinch a gig in the lucrative Indian Premier League despite only playing four matches before sustaining an ankle injury.

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He was back in time for a promising debut ODI series against Sri Lanka in March, but a shoulder problem derailed his selection for the subsequent T20 battles.

And then, the final straw – having recovered in the nick of time to make the World Cup squad, the 25-year-old quick, he broke a hand during the first training session for the tournament.

“I’ve been actually really chilled, I haven’t been too excited. I’ve learnt to take the excitement down a notch,” said Nortje.

“I was also selected for the Sri Lanka T20 series and then I got injured so I’m just waiting on the moment to come before getting too excited.”

Ironically, the general hype over the lanky quick’s pace and wicket-taking ability has also quietened down following the Proteas’ depressing campaign in England as well as the uncertainty over the transitional period the team has entered since.

In fact, not much of a fuss has been made of him still scalping seven victims in four ODIs for SA ‘A’ in a difficult series against their Indian counterparts.

It’s probably the way Nortje likes it anyway.

As a result, he’s been chatting away with more experienced teammates like Kagiso Rabada and Beuran Hendricks, which might sound weird given that Rabada is younger than him.

“It’s great to have a guy like Rabada around. He obviously has a lot of experience in India, just to try and get into his mind and what his thought patterns are and how he goes about things have been good,” he said.

“We haven’t been too technical, but just the thoughts of the rest of the bowlers in the group, like Beuran. It’s nice to get some feedback from those guys. They’ve obviously played at most of the venues so to understand the conditions we’re going to face.”

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