Morkel peaks in time

2015-03-20 00:00

WITH his impressive performances so far at the World Cup, Morné Morkel has eventually taken his rightful place as a leader in the South African cricket team.

The 30-year-old beanpole has already struck 14 times in seven games at this year’s tournament, and has consistently been the most dangerous of the Proteas bowlers.

According to his captain AB de Villiers, it could not have happened at a better time.

The South Africans beat Sri Lanka by nine wickets on Wednesday in a quarter-final in Sydney that lasted just 55.2 overs. With that win came the Proteas’ first ever triumph in a World Cup knockout game.

Morkel only took one wicket — that of Kumar Sangakkara — yet he was a handful for the Sri Lankan batsmen from the outset.

“All of the bowlers were incredible [against Sri Lanka]. Dale [Steyn] and Kyle [Abbott] started well and our spinners [Imran Tahir and JP Duminy] were excellent, but this is probably the best I ever saw Morné bowl,” said De Villiers.

“I think a big reason is the recent success he has had with the Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL (Indian Premier League),” he said, referring to the title Morkel won last year in the seventh edition of the lucrative T20 league.

“Since they won that trophy, there is a new faith in Morné’s eyes. He speaks with more confidence than in the past and he has now grown into one of the leaders in our attack. It’s not just Dale that should lead anymore — Morné suddenly has a large role, and he meets the expectations every time.”

De Villiers added that the role of spin cannot be underestimated in the closing stages of the tournament.

Tahir and Duminy dismissed seven of the 10 Sri Lankan batsmen.

Duminy also became the first Protea to ever take a hat-trick in the competition while Tahir — now with 15 — has taken more wickets than any other Proteas bowler.

“It will undoubtedly play an important role in the rest of the tournament. With the spinners, the tempo and the pace of the game changes completely,” said De Villiers.

“It’s the captain’s responsibility to ensure that the spinners are used in the right way and at the right time.”

De Villiers ensured that the squad will be very grounded come Tuesday, when they play their semi-final at Eden Park against either the West Indies or New Zealand. The Proteas arrived in Auckland yesterday.

“I still believe we have the right group of players to win the tournament, but we realise there is still hard work ahead. Yes, it was important to win [against Sri Lanka] and to celebrate, but now let us set ourselves up for the next challenge,” he said.

“We probably did not use much energy [against Sri Lanka], but it was still mentally exhausting.

“Fortunately, we have time to recover before the semi-final.”

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.