Delhi Capitals (DC) fast bowler Anrich Nortje holds Test cricket as his ultimate goal despite his profound success in the shortest format of the game. The South African has been one of the most consistent performers in the IPL and it has helped him lock down a spot in the national team as well.
Nortje's smoldering pace and accuracy makes him a tough proposition across every format. While he has figured out the code to succeed in T20 Cricket, he is yet to completely find his stride in the longest format of the game. Nortje endured a tough Test debut for South Africa in 2019, going wicketless after bowling 25 overs in the Pune heat against a belligerent Indian outfit.
While acknowledging the thrills and spills galore that the shortest format of the game brings to the fore, Nortje still believes Test cricket is the ultimate pinnacle of the sport. While speaking to News18, Nortje said:
"T20 format has given opportunities to so many pacers. Bowling just four overs with all-out raw pace is exciting, but for me the main format is still Test cricket. Red-ball cricket takes more (energy) and is the most difficult format as you have to be so consistent."
Nortje has taken 47 wickets across 12 Test matches since his debut. He fits well in a pace attack spearheaded by Kagiso Rabada, with Lungi Ngidi by his side as well.
The mindset and approach when you bowl in Test, ODI or in T20 leagues doesn’t change: Nortje
Nortje noted how there was not much change in the approach adopted by bowlers while contesting matches in different formats of the game. He believes there is a slight change in line when bowling with the white ball and the red ball and the added factor of variable conditions in Test cricket comes into play as well.
"The mindset and approach when you bowl in Test, ODI or in T20 leagues doesn’t change because you want to do the same sort of things. In T20 format, you can give everything and put all your energy in four overs but in Test cricket one tries to utilise as much pace (across five days)."
"In red ball, you try to stick to the top of the off stump, but in white ball it could be top of the middle stump. In Test, one also just assess(es) the conditions on that day," Nortje explained.
Nortje will be looking to evolve as an all-format bowler similar to the likes of Jasprit Bumrah in the near future.