South African fast bowler Anrich Nortje is not at all concerned about who would deliver the fastest ball in the ongoing series against India as Umran Malik is yet to make his India debut.
Malik clocked the 157 KPH marker during the IPL 2022 and also reportedly reached the speeds of 163 KPH during a net session ahead of the series. But he hasn’t been given his debut yet as India have stuck with the experienced trio of Bhuvneshwar, Harshal and Avesh with Hardik Pandya in support.
Nortje, who is amongst the fastest bowlers in the world, hasn’t had a great series so far – taking 3 wickets in as many games while leaking at 9.5 runs an over.
Nortje not bothered about who is the fastest bowler
When asked about speed comparisons with Malik, Nortje, in certain terms, said that he’s focusing on his bowling and winning games for his side and not on competing with Malik on the speed gun.
“Yeah, at this stage, I am not bothered about who is the fastest (bowler). Not really bothered about it who is the fastest and what the speed gun is, it is about contributing for the team. When I do train, when I am not playing, you obviously think about how can you get fast with the way you train, whatever you are doing. In the back of my mind, it would be something I will keep on striving towards but it is not something I think about when I go to the field,” said Nortje during a press conference on Thursday.
Malik bagged 22 wickets in 14 IPL 2022 matches for Sunrisers Hyderabad, courtesy of which received his maiden India call-up. Nortje, on the other hand, picked 9 wickets in 6 matches at an economy of 9.7 for the Delhi Capitals as he missed more than half of the tournament due to injury.
The lanky Protea pacer was effusive in praise for Umran’s talents.
“Umran Malik very good bowler, very fast bowler. He has shown what he can do. If he gets faster, great for him. If I get faster, great for me. I do not think we are at the stage where we are competing to bowl the fastest ball, it is about winning games and trying to contribute,” Nortje added.
The visitors lead the series 2-1 but India seemed to have found their mojo in the victory in the third T20I. The fourth match will be played on Friday in Rajkot.