Morne Morkel Unhappy With The Centurion Pitch
By CricShots - Jan 16, 2018 8:06 am
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On Monday, South African pacer Morne Morkel expressed his unhappiness regarding the slow nature of the Centurion track and even he didn’t even shy away from comparing it with the Indian pitches. Morkel picked 4 wickets in the first innings as the hosts bowled out the Indian team for 307 and bow they are 118 runs ahead in the second innings.

Morne Morkel

After the end of play on Day 3, the lanky pacer said, “I’ve played cricket here all my life, and I’ve never seen a wicket like this at the SuperSport Park. It was really hard work. In the heat, with conditions really tough, it was right up there with one of the hardest spells I’ve bowled.”

He further elaborated, “I think the pace of the wicket was the toughest aspect. You’ve got a small little window with the new ball. The reason might be because it’s under covers overnight, but in the first hour, the balls seems a little bit quicker off the deck. But after that, there’s actually been no pace in the wicket. It’s important to come out with different sorts of game plans. You need to try a lot of things but we had run on the board in the first innings to try different things. From a bowling point of view, it is definitely not the ideal sort of surface.”

Also read: Morkel's excitement for the India series

When asked if the pitch is similar to that of the Indian ones, Morkel replied, “One hundred percent, yes. It’s unheard of that a spinner bowls that amount of overs on the first day. We even took the option to open in the over before lunch with a spinner (yesterday). There’s a very sub-continental feel to it. It is tough to score, and tough to get people out. Luckily we’ve got some experience of that in the bank. But they are not the conditions that we want here in South Africa.”

Talking about the rain delay on Day 3, and bad light, Morkel said that a result was very much possible irrespective of the pitch conditions. He said, “Obviously, it was important for us to get the breakthrough this morning. We knew, talking last night, if we took two wickets we would be bowling to their tail-enders. So to get those first two – Pandya or Virat or Ashwin – was crucial. Luckily by a run-out, things changed a little bit. Otherwise, I think it would have been an interesting sort of day.”

Virat Kohli

Praising the Indian skipper Virat Kohli for his gritty knock of 153, Morne called him competitive. He said, “Virat is very competitive. They are over here to compete and they’ve got a team that could potentially beat South Africa for the first time here. And if you get a batsman of his quality, you’ve got time to adjust. Bowling certain lengths, certain lines, we’ve got that small window to make a play. To keep him quiet on this sort of surface, we have to bowl as many dot balls as possible.”

Also read: Indians enjoying bhangra in centurion

Morne concluded by talking about Jasprit Bumrah’s ferocious spell in the second innings, he said, “Bumrah has got the perfect action for this sort of wicket. He is very skiddy. Talking to our batters and doing some preparation before the Test match, we’ve got our game plans. Talking about collapses (in the second innings) is a bit of a red flag but it’s something that we do talk about -losing a cluster of wickets is not ideal. Individuals must take responsibility, but there’s a massive thing in the team to build partnerships. Hopefully tomorrow we can get that lead that we want.”