Anrich Nortje opens up on comparisons with Umran Malik

The 22-year-old Indian pacer Umran Malik made the headlines for maintaining a bowling speed over 150 kmph in IPL 2022. South African pacer Anrich Nortje, one of the fastest pacers in the world himself, shared his thoughts when asked about who will bowl the fastest delivery in the fourth T20I match between India and South Africa.

Nortje himself made the headlines for his firing deliveries against Rajasthan Royals in 2020. He bowled the second and third fastest ball in the IPL history back then in the same over with a ball ticking for 156.20 and 155.21 kmph, the latter one cleaning up Jos Buttler. Meanwhile, Umran broke his record for the second-fastest delivery in IPL history by bowling a 157.0 kmph delivery to Rovman Powell and then bowled the fourth-fastest ball in the same over this season.

Not really bothered about it who is the fastest and what the speed gun is: Nortje

Malik took 22 wickets in IPL 2022 and earned a place in the Indian squad for the five-match T20I series against South Africa at home. The visitors are leading the series by 2-1 and the Indian youngster is yet to make his debut. But there has been a great talk about his involvement in the remaining two matches and many will be waiting to keep an eye on his bowling speed. Meanwhile, the Proteas pacer is not bothered about who is the fastest bowler among them.

“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 to 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,” Nortje said in the pre-match conference.

“Umran Malik is a very good bowler, a 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,” he said.