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‘Don’t need 20 sixes to make an entertaining game,’ says Anrich Nortje
By SMCS - Jun 5, 2024 6:40 am
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Star pace bowler of South Africa, Anrich Nortje registered his career-best T20I figures to help South Africa win in a crucial match against Sri Lanka. However, this was the first World Cup match ever in New York, and the surface faced criticism as an uneven pitch and slow outfield made scoring pretty difficult. Sri Lanka managed to score only 77 and made things difficult for South Africa to reach the target as well.

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“I thought the game was great,” Nortje said. “I thought the entertainment was there. I thought the people were there. It was a brilliant spectacle. It was brilliant to see everyone, to hear the voices, the noise, the cheering. I thought it was a great day for cricket. It doesn’t always mean, correct me if I’m wrong, there needs to be 20 sixes in a game to make it entertaining. There’s still a lot of strategy that goes into the game. There’s a lot of skill that goes into the game, whether it’s sixes or fast bowlers or spinners, however it might be. So, I thought the game was a brilliant game. It was still a close game at the end of the day, another wicket or two, and things might have been different. We might have been in a little bit more trouble.”

“It is great to be in New York. It’s great to be playing cricket in the US and…we’re excited for what’s to come. We’ve enjoyed the facilities; we’ve enjoyed the sort of getting around exploring as well. So, yeah, it’s brilliant and we are enjoying it,” he again stated.

Notably, ten drop-in pitches were brought in for the ICC T20 World Cup 2024 matches in New York. While four of them have been installed at the main venue for the matches, six have been used for the nets at a training facility 20 minutes from the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium as well.

“We didn’t know it [the pitches] is all from the same [time],” Anrich Nortje said. “We sort of assumed that they’re coming from the same, let me call it, factory. But yes, it was a little bit up and down in the nets as well. We need to train as well as the batters also need to train. It’s not always nice to go out and face balls jumping up, I think you adapt to it on the day and rather work on what you want to in the nets. And that’s why I think one or two of the guys eventually walked out, but they were still batting facing us. Also you don’t want to get hit. And a day before the game, you want to sort of go through your routines as a batter and they were fresh and spicy as well.”

South Africa
South Africa team

While South Africa played Sri Lanka, India also practised on the same pitches in the nets as well. And, India’s head coach Rahul Dravid said that the pitches at the nets were much spicier when they first played. Asked if the pitches were lively just because they are fresh and not played on, Nortje said there was nothing wrong with the pitches.

“I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the wickets,” he said. “It’s [allowed to be] nice for bowlers as well. We are also allowed to get some sort of assistance. It’s different to what guys have been used to for the last few months or years. There’s a little bit more in the wicket for the bowlers and I don’t see anything wrong with that.”

“When it’s flat, people want to see sixes…so the wheels should turn a little bit somewhere. I don’t know what to expect in the next few weeks. It might get a little bit flatter. It might get a little bit slower, faster. Who knows? I’m not the expert on it, but I think our biggest thing is just to sort of adapt to whatever gets thrown in front of us in the next game again. See in the first over what to expect and try and adjust as best as possible,” Anrich Nortje concluded.