Proteas fast bowler Anrich Nortje has high praise for new bowling coach Charl Langeveldt, who joined CSA’s new management staff prior to the England tour, writes ANDRE HUISAMEN.
Speaking exclusively to SA Cricket magazine, Nortje has opened up on cementing his place in the Proteas squad after battling through a lengthy injury lay-off due to a broken thumb prior to South Africa’s departure for the World Cup in England.
Having missed out on representing his country on the biggest stage, Nortje retuned to the frame and was one of the unsung heroes of the new-look Proteas team in what was quite a testing summer of cricket.
But, despite the hurt of a heavy Test-series defeat and two T20I losses, Nortje says it was a decent learning curve for the players and he personally benefited a lot from Langeveldt’s experience and involvement.
‘It’s nice to know that he played at that level and he knows what to do at the right time. For him to have been part of coaching for such a long time now is also a comfortable feeling for me as a player.
‘He doesn’t try to change things as much, he lets us do our own thing and through that we learn how to cope. Every player is different and he tries to improve us in our own unique ways,’ Nortje said.
The Proteas managed to conclude the home summer of cricket on a high, though, by comprehensively beating Australia 3-0 in the ODI series.
It provided the young group of players with some much-needed confidence and having been part of the limited-overs squads as well, Nortje found the different format variations really helped him grow even more as a bowler under Langeveldt’s watch.
‘In the different formats, it definitely helped a lot to have him share his thoughts on how to change some of the smaller things in my game.
‘It was a great experience to have different challenges in each format and to work on different aspects of my game, instead of just line and length. To have new and different ways of working on those aspects and to think in a different manner, helped me to realise that I could improve my game so much more.’
Nortje took the most wickets in the Test series against England with 18 scalps in total, while he also contributed six wickets in the ODI series against Australia – the second most behind Lungi Ngidi.
‘It was a privilege to be part of those series and it gave me a lot of experience in the process where I was able to work on a couple of things to help me evolve my game for the future.’