There are other similarities. Like Harris, Neser also made his Test debut at age 31, and has only played two Tests so far, one in December 21′ and the next on December 22′. Back injuries hamstrung him in his 20s, but his recent appearances, including participation in the English County Glamorgan, have pushed him over the edge. For the past few weeks, Australian newspapers and radio stations have been raving about him (He’s always on top!, seems a familiar exclamation in the description), and finally an injury to Josh Hazlewood put him in the squad for the World Tests finals against India.
There is another video of Cheteshwar Pujara, which the Indian performance analyst must have shared with the team. The angle from the striker’s back isn’t quite perfect, but Neser’s shot deserves a fiery emoji on WhatsApp. The first two strikes come in the outside corridor, and the next one hits the back of Pujara’s thigh. A lbw appeal is in the air. Pujara adjusts, opening the position for the next ball; a hasty late strike follows, and the ball bounces off the face of the bat to the keeper. Pujara rearranges his defense again, another sharp nipbacker flies in, and Pujara’s form staggers as he tries to keep the ball at an angle and possibly gets an inside edge on the pad. Another ball, left, and Pujara goes to the short leg area. The last nut is a real thrashing; Pujara almost doubles as he crosses the line, but he gets pinned right in front of the middle line, and he passes. A pumped up Neser roars in celebration. Could this be a sign of things to come in the WTC?
As if by the way, nip-backs seem to be coming back into fashion. England selected Josh Tong, presumably for Steve Smith, and Marnus Labuschagne with his ability to put the ball in play. Neser seems to be able to do more than just stitch – he can take a swing. He was more agile in his 20s, and now, at 33, he says he’s turned into a line and length bowler.
Michel Neser was born into a family of doctors in South Africa and spent the first 10 years of his life in Pretoria before his family moved to Australia. His grandfather once treated the daughter of the president of South Africa is our claim to fame, he said. His father is a spinal surgeon, his mother is a dentist, and even his great-grandfather was a doctor.
In a Big Bash video from 10 years ago, he talks about being part of a big fishing family and loving surfing and fishing. He talks about a trip when he was nine years old to Kenya, Ga.de family ended up catching a kingfish that would become the world record for the heaviest fish. We couldn’t register it because we weren’t part of the anglers association. It was very big, taller than me at the time. He also plays the musical instrument trombone, although he seems to have stuck with the trombone since he couldn’t get the drums, which he chose first.
In an interview with Roar.com.au, Neser says the traumatic event was one of the reasons the family emigrated to Australia. We were in a car accident once. I think a drunk driver ran a red light and crashed into our car. We all jumped out of the car in shock and tried to recover. When we got back to the car to get our things, they were gone. We had actually been robbed… I always thought we were very lucky that we were able to emigrate to Australia, and I am very grateful to my parents for taking that step. It wouldn’t have been easy for them, and it was a big step, but they gave up their lives in South Africa and came to Australia practically for us kids. At first I really thought I was going on vacation. It wasn’t until a couple of months later that it dawned on me that I was actually in Australia for good.
Things went his way, he started playing professional cricket for the Queensland team and in 2013, a year after his BBL debut, he got the chance to play in the IPL for the Kings XI Punjab team.
Unfortunately, he faced AB de Villiers, Chris Gayle and Virat Kohli in his first game. It was also his last game as he conceded 62 runs, a record for an IPL debutant.
The first time, I thought I played pretty well. Then I looked at the scoreboard and saw that he passed for 15. After that it only got worse and every overhead went through me. I know that sounds silly, but I really didn’t think I played that bad. I thought I was playing worse and scoring a lot less, he recalled in an interview with Roar.com.au. I remember AB de Villiers hitting yorkers for four. Gale was hitting it off by miles. I never played again after that.
He may not be young anymore, but he’s probably getting a break at the right time now. If he performs well against India, he could very well play the Ashes. He can test not only Pujara, but Virat Kohli as well: a bowler with line and length with a great inswinger who is always around.