Gerald Coetzee: South AFrica’s next fast bowling sensation

gerald coetzee south africas next fast bowling sensation

JOHANNESBURG – South African cricket seems to be gifted with remarkable fast bowlers in every generation.

Allan Donald, Makhaya Ntini, Dale Steyn and Kagiso Rabada have all excelled as the cream of the crop of the Proteas’ bowling attack. Now Free State seamer, Gerald Coetzee, is next in the line of the frighteningly quick bowlers to represent South Africa.

Coetzee earned his first call-up to the Test team when he was named in the 16-man squad for the three-match series against Australia in December and January.

The 22-year-old from Bloemfontein only has 13 first-class matches under his belt, but despite being in the fledgling stage of his career, Cricket South Africa’s convenor of selectors, Victor Mpitsang had little hesitation in elevating Coetzee to the senior side.

Mpitsang said Coetzee’s strength suits the conditions Down Under – which got him the nod ahead of other seamers.

“He bowls quickly, he gets bounce and he’s aggressive,” Mpitsang said.

Coetzee has been earmarked as a future Protea since his days in high school.

Mpitsang’s glowing praise of Coetzee suggests that the call-up may have happened sooner but a hamstring injury kept him sidelined for an extended period.

“I think the fact he bowls at 140 plus kph [makes him stand out]. One thing about him is that as a 19-year-old, he came in and played for the Knights and broke down. What has been impressive about Gerald is that he’s come back and is on the park playing regularly,” said Mpitsang

Those who have yet to see Coetzee play will be impressed by the broad-shouldered youngster who has picked up 40 wickets at a tidy average of 28.82. He’s quite adept with the bat in hand too as a hard-hitting lower-order batter.

Whether Coetzee gets to play in any matches while he is in Australia remains to be seen. He was included in the T20 team for the tour of England earlier this year but didn’t get any game time.

If the Proteas’ frontline bowlers remain injury free, and with no matches taking place in fast-bowler-friendly perth, Coetzee may yet have to sit on the side and watch all three Tests.

The first Test begins on 17 December at The Gabba in Brisbane.

South Africa Test squad: Dean Elgar (c), Temba Bavuma, Gerald Coetzee, Theunis de Bruyn, Sarel Erwee, Simon Harmer, Marco Jansen, Heinrich Klaasen, Keshav Maharaj, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Kagiso Rabada, Glenton Stuurman, Rassie van der Dussen, Kyle Verreynne, Khaya Zondo

Schedule:

17-21 December 2022 – First Test, The Gabba, Brisbane

26-30 December 2022 – Second Test, MCG, Melbourne

04-08 January 2023 – Third Test, SCG, Sydney

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