Morné Morkel will spearhead the Proteas’ pace assault against the touring Australians in Thursday’s Twenty20 cricket clash at Newlands in Cape Town.
The team’s management has decided to rest kingpin fast bowler Dale Steyn in view of the workload that lies ahead this summer.
“With Dale resting, I’ll be the senior man and I’ve always looked forward to spearheading the team’s attack,” Morkel told the media at Tuesday’s press conference.
“It’s something that I’m looking forward to. Over the past few years I’ve grown my game and I’m ready for that responsibility.
“After the lay-off for the off-season it will be an important start to the new season and I’ve had a SuperSport Series outing over the weekend, just so that I’m fit and ready to bowl at least 20 overs a day … The match also helped to get all the aches and niggles out of the way.”
Fighting fire with fire
Morkel said some of the Australian batsmen should be in good form going into the first match of the tour, with opener David Warner fresh from two centuries in the recently concluded Champions League in India.
“Some of the players have been in great form and David Warner has been one of them,” he said.
“But as good a form he’s in, we’ll have to fight fire with fire.”
Conditions, given the time of the year in Cape Town, will be very different to what one usually finds at Newlands.
“The situation will call for thinking on our feet,” Morkel said.
“We’ve also worked on our new ball and older balls skills just in case the captain calls a bowler to deliver at the death.”
Being a leader
Lonwabo Tsotsobe, the Proteas’ speedster, is likely to share the new-ball duties with Morkel and he feels he will bank on past experience to see him through Thursday’s match.
“This is a new season, so it calls for a fresh start, but one can call on past experience, especially the positives when you need to perform,” said Tsotsobe.
“It’s very easy working in this squad, because I can rely on Dale and Morné to back you up in what you’re doing. They’re always ready to give me advice.
“But at the end of the day you have to be your own leader when you have the ball in your hand. You must be prepared to be the leader in your own space.” — Sapa