South African fast bowler Enrique Nortje tribute to captain Dean ElgaryThe “honesty” of the Proteas after their innings and 12-run loss to England in the first Test at Lord’s. Nortje finished with match figures of 6–110 as South Africa completed a crushing victory in London to lead 1–0 in the three-match series within three days. The 28-year-old express pace was particularly effective after lunch on Friday, taking three wickets without a run in 10 balls. Jonny Bairstow, alex lees And ben fox All were left behind as they repeatedly topped 90 mph (145 kph) and even surpassed 95 mph in one stage.
With no way out for England, who were bowled out for 149 in 38 overs, South Africa’s bowlers effectively gave themselves some unexpected, but valuable, extra rest ahead of Thursday’s second Test at Old Trafford in Manchester .
South Africa were already at the top of the World Test Championship table before this game and have now won eight of their 10 matches at this level as veteran opener Elgar became their permanent captain in red-ball cricket last year.
“Dean is pretty straight forward,” Nortje told reporters after the stumps.
“If he thinks you’re not playing your A-game, he’ll tell you and the whole team respects that. We need that. You need to tell someone, not just around the bush.”
Nortje, who occasionally bowled short-pitched before returning to full length at Lord’s, said: “He’ll tell you if it’s not good enough and that’s what happened in stages.
“At stages he thought what I was doing was right and he encouraged me to bring energy and bowl fast because that’s my job – to bowl fast, to try to bring energy and pace to the team.
“It paid off here and hopefully it pays off again but he encourages me to try to express myself as a bowler,” Nortje explained.
“I’m really enjoying him as a captain and it’s nice to get that honesty from a captain too.”
Nortje has taken 53 wickets in his 13 Tests at an average of exactly 27, having spent six months on treatment for back and hip injuries after last year’s T20 World Cup.
The quartet at Lord’s was all wickets, with Rabada’s superb 5–62 in England’s first innings 165, where Norje put up good support with 3–63, leading the way.
“It’s an incredible attack and people have shown what they can do,” Nortje said.
“Everyone adds a different aspect to their respective departments and it’s really nice to be with the team again and play red-ball cricket again.
“KG (Rabada) did incredibly well for us in this game as well.”
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