Australia’s second innings in Brisbane was a preview of what’s to come from Anrich Nortje and his fellow South African fast bowlers.
While the home side won the first Test inside two days by six wickets, Nortje said he and his teammates are far from discouraged ahead of the Boxing Day Test at the MCG.
Australia were 4-35 in their second dig on the Gabba green-top and and had to weather some spirited fast bowling.
Nortje was asked if he and his fellow quicks had wanted to send the Australian top order a message in the second innings, looking ahead to the rest of the series.
“That’s a fair statement. I wanted to make sure it’s not going to be easy … it’s going to be hard to get,” he said.
“Just coming as hard as we can during that session, during that short little time and making it uncomfortable – it went according to what we wanted to do.
“Not even a session – probably half a session – and the game could have been different and we could have been in a winning position.
“That’s how quick things were happening, so you can’t really take too much … you can’t look at losing by six wickets and say it’s a big margin on that wicket.”
Nortje was also asked if he thought the Australians looked uncomfortable against their short-pitched deliveries.
“It definitely looked like it. It’s never nice getting a ball past your head at high speed,” he said.
“It definitely looked like it at stages, we just need to be on it again.”
Nortje isn’t sure whether the Australian batsmen are scared of him specifically, but he did not mind stressing the point about the perils of facing bouncers.
“I just think all-in-all, in general, giving a ball at 140-150km/h past your head is not comfortable,” he said.
“Whether you’re the best puller or best player in the world, it’s still uncomfortable.
“In a certain situation, you could possibly hit someone and just take their feet away, so that’s the goal of a bouncer.
“You never know when it’s going to come.”
Australia opener David Warner was blasted out for a golden duck and three as his form woes continue.
Warner will play his 100th Test starting Monday and it would be a massive boost for the Proteas if they could dismiss him cheaply again.
But Nortje said there is no special emphasis on targetting Warner.
“We’re not really focused on that, we’re just trying to focus on where we need to land the ball, what we need to do to execute it,” he said.
“We’re not too worried about who’s in form and who’s not, because it could change.
“There are a lot of dangerous players in the Australian team currently.
“I wouldn’t say it’s a specific name that pops up.”
For his part, Warner said he is looking forward to the South African chin music.
“If they want to bowl short to me, I love that – bring that on,” he said.