Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Throwback: Anrich Nortje reminisces facing Dhoni in the nets

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Former Indian captain MS Dhoni is renowned as one of the most successful wicketkeeper-batsman and finisher of all times. South Africa’s decorated right-arm seamer Anrich Nortje revealed an amusing incident from his first interaction with the former Indian skipper. 

Nortje has emerged as a key pacer for the Delhi Capitals, in the previous season of the Indian Premier League(IPL) which was played in UAE, he was amongst the highest wicket-takers for the Capitals. On the other hand, Dhoni has been one of the most successful captains in the league.

Nortje on MS Dhoni:

In the 2010 edition of the Champions League which was hosted in South Africa, Chennai Super Kings(CSK)  who were a part of the competition, called Nortje to bowl in the nets. Nortje, who was a  teenager back then, didn’t know any of the faces against whom he was bowling but he did recognize Dhoni. However, the seamer was bewildered seeing Dhoni’s batting technique and thought that he didn’t know how to bat.

Nortje revealed that while bowling to Dhoni, he felt that the batsman wasn’t interested in the session. Also, he wasn’t using his feet and was just hitting while standing at the same spot. This what Anrich said in a recent chat-

“I remember bowling to MS in the nets there, didn’t look like he wanted to be there, didn’t look like he could bat, to be honest. But I didn’t realize it was him. He was hitting a couple of balls almost standing still not using any feet as he does.”

Further in the interaction, Nortje also spoke about his brilliant performance against Pakistan in a Test fixture earlier this year. Playing in Rawalpindi, Nortje caused havoc on the field as he took five wickets while conceding just 56 runs. However, South Africa failed to benefit from the performance of Nortje as they lost the match by 95 runs.

Nortje's stellar performance against Pakistan

Speaking about his outstanding performance, Nortje asserted that though it was a standout moment, he couldn’t feel happy due to the team’s loss.

“Yeah, that’s true but, I mean, at the end of you want to win. At the moment, maybe there’s a good feeling about it but when you look back at it you still want to win. I rather take a one-for and win the game than rather take a five-for [and lose].”

The 14th edition of the Indian Premier League, which was suspended midway due to the pandemic is set to make a comeback. The remainder will be hosted in UAE (where the previous season was hosted successfully), the BCCI is looking forward to the September-October window to complete the tournament. Tentatively, it is expected to restart around Sept 16-20 and finish by Oct 9-10.

V Nichita
Media student, Aspirant Sports Journalist

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