Kolkata: Anrich Nortje, the South African speed merchant who played a big role in Delhi Capitals’ runners-up finish in IPL 2020 in the UAE, is upbeat that they can do an encore in the second phase of the league which gets underway on Sunday.
Making his IPL debut last year, Nortje clocked the fastest delivery - a searing 156.22 kmph against Rajasthan Royals - and together with Kagiso Rabada, formed an unplayable pair with the new ball as he picked up 22 wickets in 16 matches. “It was here where things started to happen for me in the IPL, but I am looking to take it match by match this season. There’s a lot coming up even after the IPL. We have to try and remember what we did here the last time we were here and try and implement that again. Hopefully, we can repeat what we did in the UAE the last time we were here,” the 27-year-old told the Capitals media.
Nortje, who could not quite reproduce the same form during the India leg of IPL earlier this year, feels that the next month or so will be completely different from the first half of the season, “What worked at one place is not going to work at another place so we have to take it game by game. The upcoming games in the UAE are going to be completely different from the games we had earlier in the season. Maybe, teams will field different strategies in the second half of the tournament. We have to be switched on now and just be ready.”
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Like most international cricketers who have converged in the UAE, Nortje felt that the timing of the IPL before the T20 World Cup in the UAE is certainly a big advantage for all T20I players.
“It’s definitely a massive advantage to play the IPL before the T20 World Cup. We have a chance to acclimatize to the conditions and get first-hand experience of the kind of wickets here in the UAE. The sooner we get the information about the kind of wickets here, the better it will be for all of us. I think each team is looking to assess everything as much as possible, but, firstly we have to assess the conditions for the IPL as it certainly is a big tournament in itself and then we will get to the T20 World Cup,” he said.
Table toppoers Delhi Capitals will take on the Sunrisers Hyderabad, languishing at the bottom of the table, on September 22.