'Gunther' does well for Nel
Andre Nel told Sky Sports that all the talk about his alter ego had allowed him to concentrate on his bowling at Edgbaston.
Last Updated: 30/07/08 10:08pm
Andre Nel told Sky Sports that all the press talk surrounding his alter ego before the third Test had allowed him to focus on his bowling.
The seamer made the most of his chance in South Africa's side due to an injury to Dale Steyn with 3-47 on day one against England at Edgbaston.
Known for having an aggressive streak, Nel's on-field personality was given the nickname "Gunther" by former team-mate Shaun Pollock.
However, it was the 31-year-old's efforts with the ball, rather than his behaviour in the middle, that was the feature of the opening day as the tourists took control.
"It's a bit of fun," he said about his second personality. "The boys gave me the nickname and the press have hyped it up a bit.
"I don't have to say as much now, it's been said already. I can just concentrate on my bowling.
"I've learnt to control my emotions in the last few years. It makes me a better bowler when I got fired up and get in other people faces.
"It gets my energy going and that is what I need sometimes to get going. I use it as motivation."
Nel's first wicket came in fortunate circumstances when Andrew Strauss stepped on his stumps looking to push off for a single into the leg side.
The breakthrough came at a crucial time just before lunch after England's openers had cruised along to 68 without loss.
"I was going to shout at myself for a bad ball and then I saw the stumps were down," Nel said of Strauss' dismissal. "It was a bit of luck but you take it, and that changed the game for us at that stage.
Although England's final total of 231 was below par on such a flat pitch, Nel feels there is still something in the surface for the bowlers.
He also paid credit to all-rounder Jacques Kallis after he worked hard into the wind to pick up three wickets, including the key scalp of Kevin Pietersen.
"I think it stayed slow but the ball kept on swinging all the time," he added. "It always seemed like there was something in the wicket.
"We made a decision to be consistent with our length and try and hit the deck as hard as possible. Jacques bowled an unbelievable spell into the wind for us.
"He swung the ball and was patient. It worked out nicely with me and him bowling together."