'He is a ‘keeper as well and sees things differently'
He may have played just one match under Rishabh Pant's leadership as of now, but South African speedster Anrich Nortje is impressed by the Delhi Capitals skipper's match reading skills and ability to project what's in the offing.
Nortje, the world's fastest bowler, missed out on the first phase of the Indian Premier League due to an injury.
The match against Sunrisers Hyderabad, where he bagged two wickets for 12 runs, was his first game under Pant's captaincy.
"It's difficult to say just after one game. But, all in all, he is good in understanding the game from what I have seen. He is a ‘keeper as well and sees things differently," Nortje said, ahead of Capitals' game against Rajasthan Royals.
"He has got a good eye of what's going to happen in the game, and that's really nice having, that especially as a captain.
"The simple things, like being good with angles and where fielders need to be placed, projecting what's going to happen, really nice having him at the back," Nortje, having played under Shreyas Iyer last time, said about his new skipper.
Without an iota of doubt, Nortje is currently the fastest bowler in world cricket and has bowled the top eight fastest deliveries of the IPL, which includes a lot of 150-plus thunderbolts.
The highest recorded speed this IPL was 151.71 kmph.
"I don't think about bowling speeds on the field, but I do think about it when I am doing my strength training. High speed is not something I search for on the field. I just try to hit the right lengths while bowling during a game."
Having Kagiso Rabada as a new-ball partner has also helped him, as their relation has got stronger over the years.
"KG learnt quite a lot. We are quite comfortable with each other and our relation has grown as we get along well.
"We chat simple stuff, like getting on top of off-stump, cliches, just about finding how to do it, knowing what you say to each other, building on it. How he bowls in certain situations in certain wickets," said Nortje, citing the advantages of having Rabada in his corner.
Asked about his experience of working with head coach Ricky Ponting, Nortje said, "I love his chats and he breaks things down very nicely and makes everything easy to understand."
"He's quite clear on what he wants. I am trying to learn as much as possible from him. We enjoy working with him, and, hopefully, we can grow as a unit with him."
Asked if he has shared some tricks of the trade with young fast bowler Avesh Khan, the Proteas speedster waxed eloquent on the Indian's yorkers.
"Some of us have been looking at how Avesh is landing his yorkers and how he has been going about things. He has been so good for us.
"It was especially nice to see him land his yorkers in the first half of the season in India. It's been so nice to see him progress as a bowler."