Despite having played only one match so far this season, South African firebrand Nortje owns the ‘Fastest Balls’ chart for IPL 2021 with a top speed of 151.71 kmph. What is spectacular is the fact that the top-8 fastest deliveries in the League’s 14th edition have come out of his enviable right arm.
And, all he needed to shatter the records was a quota of four overs against Sunrisers Hyderabad in Dubai on Wednesday. The 27-year-old Nortje made clever use of the raw pace he possesses and ended with man-of-the-match figures of two for 12 off four overs.
Asked if he makes a conscious effort to hit top speeds, Nortje, at a virtual press conference, said: “It is not something that I think about when I am on the field. But, I think about it when I do my strength training. It is something that motivates me when I train. When I am on the field, I just hope for things to click. I try to hit the right lengths.”
Nortje would look to build on the momentum when Delhi crosses swords with Rajasthan Royals in an afternoon fixture at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Saturday. While DC is placed comfortably on the table with 14 points from nine games, RR is a member of the chasing pack with eight points from as many matches.
Talking about Delhi’s upcoming battle, Nortje, who made everyone take note of him during his debut IPL campaign last year, said: “Abu Dhabi is a venue where the pitches are on the slower side. The surface is probably going to be a lot slower when compared to the other games. We will have to be quick to assess and see what needs to be done. I can assure you that it is not going to be an easy game. The heat will also be a major factor. Hopefully, we can control our skills.”
Providing an update on injury victim Marcus Stoinis, Nortje revealed: “He looks good and fine. I spoke to him on Friday morning. He has gone for a scan, so we are waiting for the results.”
In the evening contest, bottom-placed Sunrisers Hyderabad will host a struggling Punjab Kings at the Sharjah Stadium.