South African fast bowler Anrich Nortje believes that the Proteas boast one of the best pace attacks in the world and are looking forward to the match-up against the in-form Indian batters in Perth. India and South Africa currently occupy the top two spots in their Super 12 group.
The Indian batters, particularly Virat Kohli and Suryakumar Yadav, are in red-hot form at the moment. However, the pacy nature of the surface at the Optus Stadium brings the South African pace bowling unit into the picture as well.
Nortje and Kagiso Rabada have not had the most fruitful set of outings against the Men in Blue in India recently but could pose a serious threat in Australian conditions.
Noting that the players are looking forward to the clash against an in-form Indian side, Nortje said in a pre-match press conference in Perth:
"Yes (if the match-up is between Indian top-order and SA's pace). We back ourselves and consider ourselves as one of the best pace attacks in the world. We have a lot of variety, we cover a lot of aspects, a lot of bases with our pace."
"We back ourselves against any team to do what we have to do to get over the line on a given day. We have got two young spinners as well. Boys are looking forward to tomorrow."
South Africa restricted Bangladesh to 101 in their Super 12 encounter in Sydney, with Nortje being the pick of the bowlers, returning with figures of of 4-10. The Proteas are likely to bench one of their spinners to bring in an extra seamer for the clash against India.
Last-minute replacement Marco Jansen is one such prospect, considering the Indian batters' long-storied woes against left-arm seam bowling.
"Hopefully, we can have two bouncers in an over in T20I cricket in future" - Anrich Nortje
The South African pacers also made their presence felt in Hobart to restrict Zimbabwe to 79-5 in nine overs in a rain-curtailed encounter.
The conditions in Australia are similar to the one in South Africa, with the pitches offering good pace and bounce.
Noting that the pacers should not get carried away with the extra pace and bounce offered Down Under, Nortje said:
"Hopefully, we can have two bouncers in an over in T20I cricket in future. On pitches like this, you have to time your bouncers properly and not get carried away. Sometimes, it can look nice, but not effective really."
"Try to be as effective as possible and keep your emotions intact. Just try to be calm in situations where the adrenaline is flowing and you should be able to come out on top most of the times from an execution point of view."
India are scheduled to face South Africa on Sunday, October 30, at the Optus Stadium in Perth. Rohit Sharma and Co. are currently atop the table with four points.
Will South African pacers get the better of the Indian batters in Perth? Let us know what you think.