After some personal struggles over the last two months, Chris Morris is ready to fight for his place in the South African team for the tour to India.
Morris has endured a difficult period since the Bangladesh tour and only recently regained fitness after suffering a groin injury. His grandfather also died during that time and with everything happening all at once it hit Morris hard.
‘It was a really tough journey,’ Morris said at a bowling camp in Johannesburg. ‘I’ve come back from a bad tour of Bangladesh that I don’t think I ever should have gone on but I was never going to turn down an opportunity to play for my country, so it was a lot of mental stuff that went on behind the scenes.
‘I had to find my reason for playing cricket again so I took a couple of days off, went to the bush, went hunting, played a lot of golf and found my passion again. It sounds horrible to say that as a young cricketer but I had a lot of things going on in my head that I needed sorted out and luckily we got them sorted. It was about going back to the drawing board.
‘When I was a youngster it was very easy to say why I wanted to play cricket and that was because I wanted to play for my country, and having coming back from that tour doing so badly I thought maybe I was not good enough to play for my country. I had a couple of dark days but there is always motivation when you put that jersey on.’
Morris, who was included in the Proteas ODI and T20 squads for the India tour in October and November, said preparation has been going well.
‘I’ve put in a lot of hard work after the injury and I’m almost at the fitness level where I want to be. I will be ready.’
The bowling all-rounder is expecting some good wickets and high scoring games over in India, especially in the shorter formats of the game.
‘India is a tough place to play. It’s hot, loud and has testing conditions so the conditioning we are doing now before the tour is very vital.’
Morris is, however, fully aware that won’t just simply walk back in to the starting XI with competition for places very fierce at the moment.
‘Obviously my goal is to grab a spot in the team. There is a lot more competition now but to be honest it never went away. The competition has always been there.