Tearaway South Africa quick Anrich Nortje conceded that he is still some way away from being at his 100%, saying that he is still finding “one or two things” to get back to his best bowling self before persistent injuries to his back and hip that kept him out of cricketing action for nearly five months after Men’s T20 World Cup in the UAE last year.
Nortje made his competitive cricket comeback by turning out for Delhi Capitals in the franchise’s third match of IPL 2022. Then, it took him nearly a month to play his next match and become a regular feature in Delhi’s playing eleven.
After ending the tournament with nine wickets from six matches at an economy rate of 9.71, Nortje has scalped three wickets in as many games at an economy rate of 9.50 in the ongoing T20I series against India.
“No, not yet. I am still working on it, still trying to find one or two things, and body-wise also I am not 100% yet there where I want to be. It’s just about slowly increasing and slowly building it up. I would probably rate myself from where I was last year in the IPL and at the start of the World Cup, so still trying to get there,” said Nortje on the eve of fourth T20I at Rajkot.
“Some of the bowling is limited, you can’t always just go out and bowl eight or nine overs in a day. It’s been very limited. But so far it has been a good challenge. It’s something that will help me a lot if there are any other niggles or injuries going forward. But it has been a long time and some important things to remember and take out of this,” added Nortje.
Asked what are the things he is missing from being his best bowling self, Nortje remarked, “If I knew exactly what it was, I would have done it. So it’s just going to be a small, minor adjustment. I generally keep it very simple, stick to the basics and adjust. I am working on something at this stage and will see how it goes. Hopefully, I am on the right path. It’s not like it’s completely out of shape. It’s just small margins for me and it’s something I would like to get back to what I was.”
South Africa enter the match at Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium after being unable to seal the series at Visakhapatnam, losing by 48 runs. Friday’s match presents them a chance to turn their 2-1 scoreline into an unassailable one.
“I said at the last game as well that this was sort of like a final for us. We obviously didn’t perform well or anything to what we are capable of in the last game. So, this would probably be like a final again for us. It’s a second chance but we need to seal the series as soon as possible and not give them an opportunity or any sniff, that’s the main goal of this series as well,” stated Nortje.
Nortje signed off by saying that the Proteas are still undecided over the playing status of wicketkeeper-opener Quinton de Kock, who sat out of matches at Cuttack and Visakhapatnam due to wrist injury. In his absence, Reeza Hendricks has been opening the batting alongside captain Temba Bavuma.
“I am not too sure and will need to find out tomorrow. It’s good to see that he’s practising and did some fitness test today. Maybe the team will take a call tonight or tomorrow morning.”
Violent Clash Erupts Between Rival Supporters During Argentina vs Brazil 2026 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers
The 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers has been marred in controversy as the match between Brazil and Argentina saw violent clashes between rival supporters before the start of it. The high-profile fixture had to be delayed by 30 minutes as the Marcana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro witnessed ugly scenes, with disturbing visuals emerging on social media.
With the Brazilian and Argentinian players lining up for national anthems, the camera turned towards the stands as a section of rival fans exchanged blows. The local police officials could be seen beating up a section of Argentinian fans with batons and it did not go well with the tourists. By pointing at the violent scenes, Messi and co. decided to walk off the pitch.
PAK vs ENG, CWC 2023: ‘Broke 25 Crore People’s Hopes In 5 Seconds’, Netizens Troll Pakistan As England Almost Kill The Game At Toss
Pakistan cricket fans were left ruing their luck at the toss as it fell in England’s favour at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Saturday. With Jos Buttler winning the toss marking the end of Pakistan’s campaign at the showpiece event, netizens have relentlessly trolled Babar Azam and his men for losing the contest at the toss.
Coming into the game, Pakistan were facing a near impossible equation as winning the toss was the first priority. After winning the toss, Pakistan had to beat them by a massive 287-run margin. As things stand currently, Babar Azam and co. must do the unthinkable, bowling out for a mere 20 runs and getting those in only 1.3 overs, which would be their best-case scenario.
As things stand, the target for Pakistan will get bigger and the overs will keep diminishing. Pakistan fans were already irked as Babar was excluded among the list of captains during the light show at the Gateway of India in Mumbai on Thursday. It’s worth noting that Pakistan haven’t qualified for the 50-over World Cup semi-finals since the 2011 edition.
Pakistan have also made one change from their last match, benching Hassan Ali for an extra spinner in Shadab Khan. England have gone ahead with an unchanged line-up.
CWC 2023: South Africa vs Australia Semi-Final To Be Shifted To Mumbai If Pakistan Reach Knockouts, Confirm ICC Sources
The ODI World Cup semi-final between South Africa and Australia will be shifted to the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai if Pakistan qualify for the knockouts, sources in the International Cricket Council confirmed to the Free Press Journal on Thursday.
If Pakistan manage to reach the semis then they will face arch-rivals India once again in this tournament. In that case, the semi-final will be played at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on November 15.
But if Pakistan don’t reach the semis then India will face either New Zealand or Afghanistan in Mumbai and South Africa will take on Australia in Kolkata as per the original schedule.India are scheduled to play their semifinal match in Mumbai only if they don’t face Pakistan. The Men in Green have refused to play in Mumbai due to security reasons.
Pakistan qualification scenario explained
But Pakistan’s qualification depends on the result of the match between New Zealand and Sri Lanka which is being played at the M Chinnaswamy stadium in Bengaluru.
If New Zealand manage to beat Sri Lanka by a comfortable margin then Pakistan’s qualification will take a hit even if they defeat England in their last league game. A loss against the defending champions in Kolkata on November 11 will automatically knockout Pakistan from the race for the semis.
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