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The Rise of Nortje: A Fast Bowler Making Waves in Cricket



Cricket, often referred to as a gentleman’s game, has seen its fair share of exceptional fast bowlers throughout its history. From the likes of Dennis Lillee and Malcolm Marshall to Wasim Akram and Glenn McGrath, these bowlers have left an indelible mark on the sport. In recent years, a new name has emerged in the world of fast bowling – Anrich Nortje. This article delves into the rise of Nortje, his unique attributes, and the impact he has had on the game.

The Early Years and Development

Anrich Nortje was born on November 16, 1993, in the small town of Uitenhage, South Africa. Growing up, Nortje showed a keen interest in sports, participating in various disciplines such as rugby, athletics, and cricket. However, it was his raw pace and ability to generate bounce that caught the attention of his coaches.

Nortje’s journey as a cricketer began at the Eastern Province Cricket Academy, where he honed his skills under the guidance of experienced coaches. His dedication and hard work paid off, and he soon found himself representing the Eastern Province U19 team. Nortje’s performances at the U19 level were impressive, and he quickly caught the eye of the national selectors.

The International Debut

In March 2019, Anrich Nortje made his international debut for South Africa in a One Day International (ODI) against Sri Lanka. Despite the match ending in defeat for South Africa, Nortje showcased his potential by consistently bowling at speeds exceeding 145 km/h (90 mph). His ability to generate pace and extract bounce from the pitch made him an instant hit among cricket enthusiasts.


Nortje’s performances in the limited-overs format earned him a spot in the South African Test squad later that year. He made his Test debut against India in October 2019, and once again, his raw pace and aggression were on full display. Nortje’s ability to consistently bowl above 145 km/h (90 mph) troubled the Indian batsmen, and he quickly established himself as a key member of the South African bowling attack.

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The Unique Attributes of Nortje

What sets Anrich Nortje apart from other fast bowlers is his unique combination of pace, accuracy, and bounce. His natural ability to generate extreme pace allows him to trouble even the most accomplished batsmen. Nortje’s accuracy, coupled with his ability to hit the right lengths consistently, makes him a potent threat in all formats of the game.

Furthermore, Nortje’s height and strong physique enable him to extract extra bounce from the pitch. This added bounce makes it challenging for batsmen to play him off the back foot, forcing them to adjust their technique and play him cautiously. Nortje’s ability to exploit these conditions has made him a nightmare for batsmen around the world.

Impact on the Game

Anrich Nortje’s impact on the game of cricket has been significant, particularly in Test cricket. His ability to consistently bowl at high speeds and generate bounce has added a new dimension to the South African bowling attack. Nortje’s partnership with fellow fast bowler Kagiso Rabada has become a formidable force, striking fear into the hearts of opposition batsmen.


Moreover, Nortje’s performances have not gone unnoticed in the Indian Premier League (IPL). In the 2020 edition of the tournament, he represented the Delhi Capitals and played a crucial role in their journey to the final. Nortje’s ability to bowl yorkers at high speeds in the death overs made him a valuable asset for his team.

Case Study: Nortje’s Battle with Virat Kohli

One of the most intriguing battles in recent times has been between Anrich Nortje and Indian captain Virat Kohli. Kohli, known for his exceptional batting skills, has often been a thorn in the side of bowlers around the world. However, Nortje’s raw pace and bounce have troubled Kohli on multiple occasions.

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In a Test match between South Africa and India in 2019, Nortje consistently bowled short-pitched deliveries to Kohli, exploiting his vulnerability against the rising ball. This strategy paid off, as Nortje dismissed Kohli twice in the match, showcasing his ability to challenge even the best batsmen in the world.


    1. Q: How fast can Anrich Nortje bowl?

A: Anrich Nortje is known for consistently bowling at speeds exceeding 145 km/h (90 mph).

    1. Q: What makes Nortje unique as a fast bowler?

A: Nortje’s unique combination of pace, accuracy, and bounce sets him apart from other fast bowlers.

    1. Q: Has Nortje had an impact on the Indian Premier League?

A: Yes, Nortje’s performances in the IPL have been impressive, particularly in the death overs.

    1. Q: Who has Nortje had notable battles with?

A: Nortje’s battles with Indian captain Virat Kohli have been particularly intriguing.

    1. Q: What role does Nortje play in the South African bowling attack?

A: Nortje is a key member of the South African bowling attack, forming a formidable partnership with Kagiso Rabada.


Anrich Nortje’s rise in the world of cricket has been nothing short of remarkable. His unique attributes, including his raw pace, accuracy, and ability to generate bounce, have made him a force to be reckoned with. Nortje’s impact on the game, both at the international level and in the IPL, has been significant, and his battles with top batsmen have been a sight to behold. As Nortje continues to develop and refine his skills, cricket fans around the world eagerly await his next spell, knowing that they are witnessing the rise of a truly exceptional fast bowler.

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