Proteas out to strike early

Morné Morkel (Gallo Images)
Morné Morkel (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - Proteas fast bowler Morné Morkel says it's vital that they keep India's batsmen on the back foot early on in the first Test starting at the Wanderers in Johannesburg on Wednesday.

The Indians will go into the Test a little undercooked after their warm-up game against a South African Invitation XI in Benoni was called off due to inclement weather.

They also struggled with South Africa's pace arsenal in the one-day series, which was won 2-0 by the hosts.

"It would have been a big bonus for them to get some batting practice in Benoni. But now they have to feel a little unprepared for this Test. Therefore we have to put pressure on them from the first ball and not give them any chance to gain rhythm with bat or ball," Morkel told the Beeld website.

India's new batting sensation, Cheteshwar Pujara, recently said Morkel is the quickest bowler he's faced, but the South African has made peace with being first change behind Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander.

"I'm sure they would have noted what Pujara said and maybe they're out pumping more iron in the gym to be stronger before the first ball is bowled in this Test," Morkel quipped.

He said his job is more to scare the batsmen with the bounce he can extract from the Wanderers pitch.

"Because I'm not much of a swing bowler, I don't often bowl guys out at the Wanderers but bother them more the bounce I get."
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