Nortje not backing down for anyone

Anrich Nortje of South Africa in his Bowling follow through during the 4th Momentum ODI match between South Africa and Sri Lanka at St Georges Park on March 13, 2019 in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.
Anrich Nortje of South Africa in his Bowling follow through during the 4th Momentum ODI match between South Africa and Sri Lanka at St Georges Park on March 13, 2019 in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.
Image: Isuru Sameera Peiris/Gallo Images

For a player who missed the Cricket World Cup because of a fractured hand‚ Anrich Nortje should be careful of punching anything.

Fortunately for SA cricket‚ the fast but highly intelligent Nortje reserves his aggression for the field and not changing room lockers.

There's a fair bit of aggression Nortje needs to let loose‚ especially after a stop-start year that's seen injuries get in the way of his international progress.

Should he get into the match-day 11 for Wednesday's T20I against India in Mohali‚ it'll be Nortje's T20I debut in a period where he has impressed before his injuries decided to have a say.

“We said from the start that we're not going to back down for anyone.

"We want to throw the first punch. I don't think anything has changed and we've been working hard. There's a good balance and the guys are excited to get out and play‚” Nortje said.

The 25-year-old's career has been blighted by a spate of injuries that have curtailed his participation in various tournaments.

An ankle injury prevented him from making a serious impression in the Mzansi Super League last year.

When he recovered from that‚ a shoulder injury put paid to what would have been his first Indian Premier League.

Then there was the hand injury that cruelly ended his World Cup hopes after making the initial 15-man cut.

Nortje knows he shouldn't at any stage get ahead of himself because it's backfired for him.

There's also the need to focus on what he can control in Wednesday's second game after the first T20I in Dharamsala on Sunday was washed out.

“I haven't been too excited.

"I've learnt to take it down a notch. I was also selected for the T20 series against Sri Lanka and I got injured. I just have to wait for the moment to come before I get too excited‚” Nortjie said

“We've been focused on our skills‚ our strengths and what we want to do.

"We can't be worried about what they're going to produce on the day. We can't control what they're going to control. We need to control our own controllables‚ go out there and do what we do best.”

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