Opinion: Anrich Nortje announces himself to the world

Fielder throws cricket ball in

Jonhenry Wilson looks at the Anrich Nortje and discusses his chances of getting into the national team. 

The Mzansi Super League has only just kicked off, but already a clutch of young players have seized the opportunity to showcase their talents on a global platform - and one of the most impressive has been young paceman Anrich Nortje.

Nortje leads the early wicket-takers in the MSL and has also taken 24 first-class wickets for the Warriors in the first half of the 4-Day Franchise Series.

The 2018-19 season looks set to be Nortje's coming of age campaign. Capable of consistently topping 145 kilometres per hour and in possession of a vicious bouncer, he is everything Proteas coach Ottis Gibson loves in a quick bowler.

Nortje has done well in making the step up to the Mzansi Super League, maintaining his composure and sticking to his plans. Nortje has, of course, played in domestic T20s before, but there has been a very real sense that the world is watching him this time.

With Sony broadcasting matches in India, Nortje stands every chance of impressing Indian Premier League scouts, but it would be a surprise if he is still uncapped at international level come next April.

At the Cape Town Blitz, Nortje has been afforded the opportunity to rub shoulders with his hero and role model Dale Steyn, something that can only stand him in good stead as he learns his trade.

A hallmark of Nortje's bowling this season has been his ability to rush batsman - and he notably beat Hashim Amla for pace when bowling to the Durban Heat marquee player at Kingsmead. He has all the tools to succeed at the highest level, across all three formats.

Nortje uses his slower ball sparingly and, although he is capable of variation, this is perhaps the one area where he could use some improvement. The quick proved equal to the challenge of bowling to AB de Villiers in the opening match of the tournament - and only time will tell if he can neutralise the best of the rest the world has to offer.

It is still early days for Nortje, who needs to prove that he can consistently deliver before he is afforded a run in the green and gold. Managing fast bowlers' workloads has become a major focus for all international teams - and having a bowler of Nortje's quality coming through will be enormously beneficial for the health and wellbeing of South African cricket.

Written by Jonhenry Wilson for Hollywoodbets

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