South Africa’s cricketers say they have the legs to cope with a marathon bowling effort if required in the second Test against Australia in Adelaide.
Morne Morkel believes JP Duminy’s misfortune in Brisbane could come as a blessing in disguise for the Proteas if the going gets tough in the match starting Thursday.
That’s not to say the skillful shot-maker’s batting ability wouldn’t have been of service in the second Test, but his untimely exit at the Gabba forced the Proteas bowlers to dig deep.
Duminy’s freak post-stumps achilles injury robbed the tourists of their main spin option and forced the likes of Morkel, Dale Steyn, Vernon Philander and Rory Kleinveldt to bowl extra overs during Australia’s dominant first innings of 5 dec for 565.
The so-called premier bowling attack in the world struggled for breakthroughs on a slow Gabba pitch and they’d be well advised to again expect to work hard for their wickets in anticipated batsman-friendly conditions in Adelaide.
Last summer at the same venue, Australia batted India off the park, winning by 298 runs.
Morkel said the unexpected workload in Brisbane would be an advantage in the pivotal second Test.
“Yes we might have bowled a couple more overs, but if you look at the long term thing, it won’t be a bad thing,” said Morkel.
“We’ve bowled our long spells now and got some overs under our belt and leading up to the next couple of Test matches, which is going to be hard work, (it’s a good thing to have) got overs under our belt.”
Morkel indicated that tweaker Imran Tahir would come into the side for Kleinveldt, as expected, and backed the leg-spinner to chase after wickets.
The 28-year-old Morkel is preparing to play his first Adelaide Test and said he was determined not to get sucked into negative thinking about how the pitches generally favour batsmen.
Morkel, who is desperate to eliminate errant front-foot no balls from his game, said the South Africans had plans for in-form Australia skipper Michael Clarke and his predecessor Ricky Ponting – who, in tandem, destroyed India last January.
“The most important thing is to create pressure. You want to bowl as many balls as possible to a batsman and hopefully we can get that right,” said Morkel.
“There’s a lot of talk about the ground and about the wicket. For me it’s important to listen … but also to go and experience it for myself.”