Anrich Nortje expected to ask tough questions of Sri Lanka’s batsmen

Anrich Nortje will come up against Sri Lanka in a Test match for the first time in his Proteas career.
Anrich Nortje will come up against Sri Lanka in a Test match for the first time in his Proteas career.
Image: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Anrich Nortje is the fastest bowler in the South African Test squad and will be expected to ask the most questions of Sri Lanka’s batsmen when the Boxing Day Test starts at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Saturday.

Nortje isn’t an over thinker and is not too concerned by Kagiso Rabada’s absence, and the fact they need to identify a leader of the attack.

“We’ll have to see," said Nortje.

"Like I said, we’re inexperienced as a group, but we’ve played so much domestic red ball cricket, we do have a lot of leaders within the group.

"We’ve tuned up our game quite a bit. It’s just a case of putting in the performance as a unit,” Nortje said.

Nortje hasn’t played much with the Warriors teammate Glenton Stuurman, but seemingly knows how dangerous the fast-medium bowler can be.

Saturday’s Test will also be the first one without Vernon Philander and replacing him won’t be an easy task.

Nortje, though,feels Stuurman can tick the Vern boxes.

“He’s a very good bowler with a lot of control. I haven’t played much with him but from what I have seen in the nets and heard, he’s got a lot of talent.

"He can trouble a lot of guys, especially at Centurion, especially when he asks the right questions all the time,” Nortje said.

Nortje wasn’t part of the 2019 group that was embarrassed by Sri Lanka at home, even though the second Test defeat was at his St George’s Park home ground.

With SuperSport Park set to provide some pace and bounce, Nortje cautioned against being carried away by the conditions.

“We’ll have to wait and see. I don’t want to think ahead too much. I’m trying to keep it as basic as possible.

"We are aware of what happened the last time they were here and it’s definitely something we want to rectify. Hopefully, we can do it by being simple,” Nortje said.

“There will be a little bit more bounce and pace, but if we can use it to our advantage, we will, but we don’t want to be too carried away.

"If we can hit our straps, we’re going to ask a lot of questions.”

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