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14 Aug 2008 08:40
All-rounder Albie Morkel, who sat out South Africa’s Test series victory over England, joins the Proteas as they attempt to win the one-day series as well.
The 27-year-old watched at home as younger brother and fast bowler Morne contributed to South Africa’s first series victory in England for more than 30 years, clinching it with a win in the third Test at Edgbaston.
England fought back to win the fourth and final Test at the Oval to save some pride, meaning South Africa won the series 2-1.
It was an historic moment for South Africa, and Albie now wants to complete a memorable double by helping his country claim another success in the one-day series, which comprises a Twenty20 international and five one-day internationals.
“We’ve been playing some good one-day cricket; we were number one in the world earlier this year and we’re a proud nation,” said Morkel.
“For us to come over here and win a Test series and a one-day series in England would be a big achievement and we’re all really keen to do that.”
Having just experienced the pace and hostility of one Morkel during the Test series, England must now prepare for the versatility of Albie in the Twenty20 showdown at Chester-le-Street next Wednesday.
He already has form for upsetting England, during last year’s Twenty20 World Cup when he followed up his 43 off 20 balls by claiming 2-12 in two overs to secure a comfortable victory for South Africa.
Morkel has since experienced English conditions, playing 11 matches for Durham in the Twenty20 Cup earlier this summer, where he finished with an impressive strike rate of 154 from his 11 matches, having hit 11 fours and 10 sixes during his stay.
“I’ve tried to keep myself fit during my time off and played a couple of games for Durham, and then after that club cricket, but adapting to international cricket again is going to be my big challenge irrespective of the conditions,” he admitted.
“Getting used to the intensity that international players play at again is going to be my biggest step.”
He added: “The rest of the guys [one-day specialists] have been busy back home and they might be a bit rusty to begin with, but they’ve got three warm-up games to get it right, so hopefully we’ll all be alright for the start of the series.”—Sapa—AFP
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