Proteas coach Rob Walter: 'World-class performer' Anrich Nortje will be back to his best

Proteas coach Rob Walter: 'World-class performer' Anrich Nortje will be back to his best

Proteas coach Rob Walter has no doubt that Anrich Nortje will be back to his best despite his poor form on his return from injury heading into the T20 World Cup.

The fast bowler missed six months due to a stress fracture and has not been able to hit the heights that he is known for in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and the series against West Indies.

Nortje took six wickets in seven matches for the Delhi Capitals in this season's IPL but went at more than 13 runs to the over.

The paceman did not do much better in the recent series in the Caribbean where he played two of the three matches but took no wickets and went at an economy-rate of more than 12.

Walter told reporters from Jamaica: "They've been tough conditions for a fast bowler and coming up against a side who were pretty brutal if you were off the mark.

"He probably experienced the exact same thing having come off a break into his first four games at the IPL.

"So he probably landed himself in a perfect storm, which in many ways can harden you and get you even more ready.

"I still don't believe he's very far away. A world-class performer finds a way and I don't doubt that he will as well."

Walter and the Proteas will though be encouraged that Nortje has not lost any of his pace during his lengthy layoff with the fast bowler continuing to hit speeds in excess of 150kms.

The Proteas mentor explained that the paceman's 'x-factor' was one of the reasons why he was selected in the T20 World Cup squad ahead of others.

"The ideal is to use every person's x-factor to the best of our ability," Walter said. "His x-factor is his pace so we are definitely always looking to use that 150-plus speed that he has.

"He is more than that, really, and he has developed a good set of skills from a slower ball point of view.

"So I do believe he can bowl on different surfaces and in different positions of the game. But his main job is to strike and break the game open, and then finish it."

The Proteas will have intra-squad scenario training with the IPL players joining in Jamaica before heading to New York for their World Cup opener against Sri Lanka on 3 June.

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