Fast bowler Morne Morkel was pleased a vehement decision to attack the West Indian batsman with short-pitched bowling reaped success on day four of the second Test at St George’s Park in Port Elizabeth on Monday.
Morkel proved the pick of the seamers en route to telling figures of four for 69, as the Windies slipped to shaky 275 for nine in response to the Proteas’ solid 417 for eight declared.
The lanky pace ace, bowling from around the wicket, peppered the visting order with an intimidating length. His haul included the important dismissals of centurion Kraigg Brathwaite and opener Devon Smith.
‘When conditions are like this, it’s important to use your aggression. I felt personally that it was quite hard to duck on this wicket, so coming around the wicket and banging it in short with the use of some aggression was key for me,’ said Morkel.
‘It would have been boring staying over the wicket and bowling off-stump with the wicket being on the slow side. We needed to create something, we needed to break the partnerships, we needed to get something going.
‘Normally when I start bowling well around the wicket it fires Dale Steyn up and fires Vernon Philander up. It was important for me this morning to start well and to get the guys going.’
The middle fixture of the three-match series has been hampered by rain. The encounter has seen a mere 201 overs in four days, suggesting a draw will ensue. Tuesday’s weather forecast, however, is substantially sunnier.
‘If we can start off well, put some runs on the board and bat quite quickly we can have enough overs to bowl at them. It’s never nice surviving, 50 or 60 overs so let’s hope for some good weather. It’s going to be a cracking day,’ added Morkel.
The third and final Test will get underway at Newlands in Cape Town on 2 January 2015. Three T20Is and five ODIs will follow.