When they bring their game, Pakistan are dangerous – Morkel
When there are milestones in test matches, it is easy for teams to get distracted in the moment of an individual.
With a test against Pakistan at the Wanderers looming, a battle of beanpole fast bowlers looms.
That is of Mohammad Irfan and Morne Morkel.
Being part of an awesome bowling attack is something that would excite any test bowler, but Morkel reckons it will take a team effort to best the enigmatic but talented Pakistan batting line-up.
“When they arrive and bring their game, they are very dangerous. They have some dangerous players who can score at a quick rate,” he said.
“It is important that we start off well and something we’ve done well is to land the first punch as a bowling unit and that is the sort of momentum we would like to keep going.”
Irfan’s inexperience does not bother Morkel, nor does the threat that he could pose to the South African top order.
Proteas captain Graeme Smith, who will be playing in his 100th test as captain, has a known weakness against quality left-arm pace bowling, with India’s Zaheer Khan being the most ruthless exploiter of the weakness.
South Africa may be have become the world’s pace mecca, but Morkel feels that Irfan will have to some adjusting and the batsmen will be ready for him.
“We’ll need to find a good game plan against him if he plays and I’m pretty sure our batsmen are capable of doing that. They have played against every bowling attack in the world and they will come with some good ideas and how to prepare for that,” Morkel said.
“When we are on the subcontinent, it takes us a fair amount of overs to find our feet and our lengths. It will the exact same thing for their attack and for him to find their feet.”
Except for freak performances like that of New Zealand’s Matthew Hart in 1994/95 when his tweakers set panic in an already failing run chase on a deteriorating track, spin has not played much of role at the Wanderers except for breaking partnerships and rotating seamers.
Pakistan pack a potent weapon in offspinner Saeed Ajmal, whose legend has been built with excellent performance in England and Asia.
South Africa’s method’s against spin have improved markedly are their skills are the best they have ever been since readmission, leaving Morkel confident as to how the batsmen will deal with Ajmal.
“I can’t see the wicket turning too much and Ajmal is a quality bowler with fantastic skill. We played him quite well though in Dubai,” Morkel said.
“Our record against spin, even if you look in India and the subcontinent, shows we’ve had a good game plan. He’s not going to be the only dangerman.”