Cricket-Burger emerges as latest South African quick bowling sensation

PRETORIA (Reuters) – Nandre Burger added his name to the conveyor belt of prolific South African quick bowling talent as he took four wickets on Thursday to help his country to an innings and 32 run victory over India in the first test at Centurion.

Burger finished with figures of 4-33 in 10 overs as South Africa dismissed India for 131 in their second innings for victory inside three days, making an immediate impact in the test arena and adding his name to a long list of dangerous pacemen the South African test team can call upon.

The 28-year-old Burger, replacing injured Lungi Ngidi in the line-up, finished with match figures of 7-83 after taking two wickets in his first 13 balls in the first innings in a dream start to his test career.

It has been a good month for Burger, who also debuted for South Africa in Twenty20 and One Day Internationals against India earlier in December.

“It’s a feeling I never thought I’d experience to make my debut in all three formats over the last weeks. Obviously, it’s been the best two weeks of my life to date. And hopefully it can just keep getting better,” said Burger.

“It has been an unbelievable experience and feeling to make my test debut, three days I’ll cherish for the rest of my life.

“It kind of sunk in after I took my first wicket that every wicket you take is for your country. I think it’s 60 million people, so you’re taking it for 60 million people and I kind of had the feeling that I was taking it for all those people every single time and I think that’s what really made me so pumped.”

Burger removed the dangerous Shubman Gill in the first innings and KL Rahul at a crucial juncture of the second innings, precipitating the Indian collapse.

“In all honestly, I was just trying to bowl the ball straight. Maybe trying to hit the stumps every once in a while. I think on the first day bowling first was quite nice, because it allowed me to get myself into the game. The crowd got me pumped and the feeling was a bit surreal at times.”

Also surreal was bowling to the likes of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli, he said.

“The presence they have is a little different. It geed me up more than anything. I felt like I wanted to get those wickets, I wanted to be the guy to end their stay at the crease,” Burger added.

South Africa will be looking to sweep the two-test series in the next encounter at Newlands in Cape Town, which starts on Wednesday.

(Writing by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by Miral Fahmy)