Nel ready to unleash alter ego ”Gunther” on England

July 29th, 2008 - 1:15 pm ICT by ANI  

London, July 29 (ANI): South African fast bowler Andre Nel, who has been drafted into the squad as a replacement for the injured Dale Steyn, has warned Michael Vaughan’’s team that they will not only have to contend with his desire to re-establish himself as a Test match bowler, but also with an alter ego so potent in his imagination that he has even given it a name.
Nel, the 31-year-old fast bowler from Transvaal with a reputation for snarling and for his foul-mouthed aggression, blames his status as cricket’’s favourite villain on a mythical character called Gunther.
Nel has confirmed that he fully expects his other half to make an appearance in the third Test as soon as the contest demands it.
“Oh yes he will definitely come out - there’’s no doubts about that,” Nel said, explaining that he decided his split personality merited two names after a conversation with one of South Africa’’s technical analysts.
“One of our computer guys said I was a bit like those little guys in Germany who live half way up a mountain and have a lack of oxygen to the brain that makes them crazy. Sometimes that happens to me, it seems.
“Gunther seemed a good name for him. I talk to him on the way to my mark. Andre has to keep Gunther in line sometimes but the aggression is part of my armoury.
“When I used to play with Polly [Shaun Pollock), he was a big help to me. It was amazing sometimes. One part of the attack would be quiet and calm and Gunther would be at the other end."
But Nel, who took six for 81 at Centurion Park in 2005 in his only previous Test against England, insists he has matured as a bowler and that England will discover there is more to his game than posturing, even though he expects the abrasive side of his game to be visible.
"It''s unfortunate for Dale that he has picked up this injury but I am excited and looking forward to the challenge. It will be my first Test here. It has been frustrating waiting [for a chance] but we have a good squad and the guys have been playing well. You just have to wait.”
The South Africa coach, Mickey Arthur, feels Nel, who played his last Test match in January before being controversially omitted from South Africa’’s tour to India, is the perfect man to replace Steyn. (ANI)

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