• Nortje full of praise for Ponting

    Proteas fast bowler Anrich Nortje has been making the most of his first IPL experience so far, fully relishing the opportunity to gain as much as possible from Delhi Capitals coach Ricky Ponting, writes ANDRE HUISAMEN.

    Nortje has been one of the star performers so far throughout the competition, which is being held in the UAE this year due to the Covid-19 health risk in India.

    The Capitals sit atop the IPL standings having won four out of their five matches so far, with Nortje contributing seven wickets at an average of 21.28.

    Given that Nortje was a late replacement for Chris Woakes in the team, the 26-year-old is making the most of learning from someone with Ponting’s experience.

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    ‘Playing under Ricky is a really amazing experience. It’s nice to see how he goes about his business as a coach. Just the way he sees the game and the way he talks about things is what has been standing out for me,’ Nortje told SA Cricket magazine.

    Ponting, who is in his third year as team coach, appears to be building a competitive outfit that could lead the Capitals to their maiden IPL crown this year.

    ‘Most of the things stay the same but he is pretty straight-forward and to the point with how he approaches every aspect, which I think has been of huge value to everyone in the team.

    ‘It’s not the cliches that are being used and it is much more to the point, so it’s been quite nice for me to be part of his set-up and to learn as much as I can,’ added Nortje.

    The Proteas quick admits that despite the adjusted schedule and this year’s edition not being held in India, he is still enjoying every second of being part of the competition.

    ‘There’s not really a lot that we can do outside. We have a playroom in the hotel and, of course, the pool but we remain part of the bio-bubble of the team.

    ‘We are also keeping busy with frequent training sessions but it’s awesome to be with this group of players and to be playing alongside them.

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    ‘I’m just trying to take everything in my stride and to enjoy every second of it, despite it not being in India,’ Nortje said.

    The Capitals will face the Rajasthan Royals in Sharjah tomorrow in what promises to be an exciting encounter, despite the Royals struggling somewhat thus far.

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    Andre Huisamen