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South Africa will ‘rev it up’ against Buttler – Nortje

The England wicketkeeper was disciplined by the ICC for an expletive-laden outburst at Vernon Philander.

South African batsman Vernon Philander was the target of an outburst from England wicketkeeper Jos Buttler, left (Halden Krog/AP)
South African batsman Vernon Philander was the target of an outburst from England wicketkeeper Jos Buttler, left (Halden Krog/AP)

By Rory Dollard, PA Cricket Correspondent, Port Elizabeth

Anrich Nortje has warned South Africa will “rev it up” when Jos Buttler bats in the third Test at Port Elizabeth.

England wicketkeeper Buttler was disciplined by the International Cricket Council for an expletive-laden outburst at Vernon Philander during the tourists day five victory in Cape Town, earning one demerit point and losing 15 per cent of his match fee.

Buttler has publicly apologised for over-stepping the mark but Nortje, who had consistently bowled beyond 90mph in the series, suggested the Proteas would have extra motivation when he arrived at the crease.

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England’s wicketkeeper Jos Buttler looks set to be targeted by South Africa (Halden Krog/AP)

“It definitely gets one or two guys going,” said Nortje, ahead of Thursday’s game.

“It’s not really something you can say on a stump mic. That’s for umpires and whoever to sort out but it does get the blood flowing, and once we identify a moment we will probably try and rev it up.”

England could well be fighting fire with fire at St George’s Park, with express pacemen Mark Wood and Jofra Archer both angling for selection.

The pair were both clocked at over 95mph in 2019 and Nortje welcomes any injection of speed on the international scene.

“It’s nice to see on the big screen where you are at, it’s nice to keep your eye out but it’s not a competition really,” he said.

“It gets the energy up and the blood flowing, it’s gets the boys going. It’s nice to have a few quicks in the series and the more there are, the better for cricket.”

South Africa captain Faf du Plessis suggested he was weighing up the balance of his side and was tempted to bring in uncapped seamer Dane Paterson.

How he might find a gap in XI is less obvious, with Du Plessis pondering the position of spinner Keshav Maharaj or even thinning out an already light batting line-up.

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Faf du Plessis is pondering South Africa’s options ahead of the third Test (Nigel French/PA)

Neither option fully appeals, making for some tricky final conversations.

“We are considering the possibility of looking at someone like Pato. We haven’t decided on that yet,” he said.

“A big question we would need to answer is ‘for who?’. If you do that you’re going to have one less batter or spinner and there are merits to both. You need a spinner at St George’s Park and you need a longer batting line-up, so it’s not an easy decision.

“It’s something we’re just talking about and there are options on the table. All three of those have positives and negatives and it’s something myself, (head coach) Mark Boucher and (batting coach) Jacques Kallis have spoken a lot about.”

PA

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