Morne Morkel marked his return to Test cricket by winning the South African Man of the Series for his performance during the Proteas’ defeat in England.
The Proteas can take one positive out of their 3-1 series defeat against the hosts, the return of ace paceman Morne Morkel who was SA’s leading wicket-taker in the series.
The 32-year-old ended with 19 wickets, just one behind James Anderson, as he took his overall tally for his country to 272 scalps and currently sits at No 6 on SA’s all-time bowler’s list.
Talking to Michael Atherton at the post-match presentation, following the Proteas’ 3-1 series defeat to England, Morkel was delighted with his return.
‘I’m definitely going to enjoy this [the winning champagne] tonight,’ Morne told Atherton when asked whether he was ‘near his best’ in the series.
‘It was hard work, but ya, personally you set yourself some goals for the year and this definitely was one of them … to come out here [England] and do well … so I’m just happy with the way it went with the ball.’
Morkel was unlucky not to take more wickets, and Atherton asked his opinion on ‘missing the bat on so many occasions’ during the series.
‘The most important thing is just to keep asking questions. You can’t control those sort of things.
‘I’ve committed this series to try hit that fuller length and I got that right consistently … the other things I can’t control.
‘Especially over here it was crucial to get that fuller length consistently, so I have worked on that. Hopefully, this is the start of something new now.’
On his battle with Alastair Cook, which saw him dismiss the left-hander 12 times in his career, Morkel responded humbly.
‘It’s been quality. He’s a fantastic batsman, his record speaks for itself.
‘I enjoy bowling to left-handers … I have two brothers back home and bowled many balls to them in the back yard, so I’m happy I could do that with the new ball and put the pressure on up front.’
Morkel took 19 wickets in the series @ 26.36 with an economy of 3.15 and a BBI of 4-41.