South Africa fast bowler Anrich Nortje feels that he has it in him to break the record for the fastest ball ever recorded in professional cricket held by Shoaib Akhtar.
Nortje has already bowled the four fastest deliveries in this season’s IPL including a scorching 155 km/h delivery that tore through England superstar Jos Buttler’s stumps when the Rajasthan Royals met the Delhi Capitals last week.
Nortje could break world record speed
The Proteas pace merchant topped 156 km/h less than five clicks off the record for the fastest ball held by Akhtar’s screaming 161.3 km/h delivery recorded as it happens in South Africa against England at the 2003 World Cup. He claimed the man of the match award after picking up two crucial wickets against the Royals.
Nortje feels that he has it in him to break the record but admits that it isn’t something he is actively trying to do.
“Hopefully it’s something I’ve got in me and it’s definitely something I’ve wanted to do,” Nortje said on Ravichandran Ashwin’s YouTube channel.
“Maybe a good wicket, some adrenaline, the right combination and I can do it this IPL or maybe in the future.”
What may have been
Nortje told Ashwin that if he had seen his top speed clocked flash up on the big screen the surge of adrenaline may have pushed him beyond the 100 mph ( approximately 160 km/h).
“I don’t know. It’s on the day,” Nortje added.
“I didn’t know about the 156kph until after the game. Obviously there was nothing on the scoreboard. It would’ve been a bit of a help to get the blood flowing. But, I’ve got no idea.”
Nortje aims to work hard and work smart
Nortje credits targeted gym work with helping him break new ground in terms of the speed he is capable of bowling.
“The two important things for me that changed it was, you have to be strong and understand what you’re doing in the gym,” he explained.
“Not go for a beach body, but do the right things while gymming. The basic thing that helped me and is easy to control is a braced front leg and a strong front arm. So those are the two things I focus on.”
Nortje has taken 12 wickets in nine IPL matches to date, supporting Proteas teammate Kagiso Rabada who had claimed 19 wickets for the Capitals in the same number of matches.