Anrich Nortje
Anrich Nortje of Delhi Capitals is wary of the heat factor in the first early game in the UAE leg on Saturday. Image Credit: Sportzpics for BCCI

Kolkata: Anrich Nortje, the South African tearaway who hit his rhythm straight in Delhi Capitals’ first game in IPL 2021 against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Wednesday, feels his craft is more about hitting the right lengths while bowling during a game than just bowling fast alone.

“I don’t think about bowling speeds on the field but I do think about it when I am doing my strength training. High speed is not something I search for on the field. I just try to hit the right lengths while bowling during a game,” said Nortje, who recorded the top eight fastest deliveries of the season in only one match with the fastest being 151.71 kmph the other day.

Speaking at a virtual media interaction ahead of their afternoon game against Rajasthan Royals at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Saturday, Nortje said: “We’ll have to quickly assess the conditions in Abu Dhabi and see what we need to do. It’s not going to be an easy game and the heat will be a major factor as well. Hopefully, we can just control our skills and focus on what we need to do. It’s going to be a very good challenge for us and I am really looking forward to it,” said the 27-year-old.


Saturday will see the first of the double-headers in the UAE leg of IPL 2021, with Sunrisers Hyderabad and Punjab Kings squaring off in the evening game in Sharjah.

Asked about his experience of working with Head Coach Ricky Ponting, Nortje said: “It’s great having Ricky Ponting in our camp. I love his chats and he breaks things down very nicely and makes everything easy to understand. He’s quite clear on what he wants. I am trying to learn as much as possible from him. We enjoy working with him and hopefully, we can grow as a unit with him.”

Nortje, who will be one of the key weapons for the Proteas in the T20 World Cup which follows the IPL in UAE, was effusive in his praise of young Indian fast bowler Avesh Khan. When asked if he had shared some tricks of the trade with Avesh, he said: “Some of us have been looking at how Avesh is landing his yorkers and how he has been going about things. He has been so good for us. It was especially nice to see him land his yorkers in the first half of the season in India. It’s been so nice to see him progress as a bowler. All in all, he has got a lot of skill and I think he has got a bright future ahead of him.”