Albie Morkel says he is grateful to play for South Africa again after returning to the T20 side for the first time in 18 months in the second game against India.
Morkel replaced fast bowler Marchant de Lange for the second T2oI on Monday and marked his comeback with a Man of the Match performance after claiming 3-12 in four overs.
The all-rounder wasn’t suppose to be on this tour but was called up after David Wiese had to withdraw due to an injury.
‘It was awesome to play for South Africa again,’ Morkel said. ‘Even two weeks ago I didn’t know I was coming on this tour. A freak accident to David Wiese gave me the opportunity and the boys welcomed me in the side very quickly.’
Morkel was the standout bowler in South Africa’s six-wicket victory and said the conditions in Cuttack suited the bowling unit well, which they managed to take advantage of.
‘Getting my best bowling figures in T20 cricket is obviously very satisfying. I’ve had a long pre-season back home with the Titans, putting in a lot of hard work without the plan of playing for South Africa,’ Morkel admitted.
‘I’m certainly not going to sit here and say I should be playing, I’m just grateful for the opportunity.’
Morkel also had glowing praise for young fast bowler Kagiso Rabada, who continues to impress for the national side.
‘I’ve never played with Rabada before that game and only watched him at the warm-up of the first match. I can honestly say that in 16 years of my first-class experience I haven’t seen anyone like that at the age of 20.
‘I saw Dale Steyn come through the ranks and he was something special at a young age, but Rabada has got something else. He’s got serious hight, he bowls with serious bounce and I think he hit 150km/h during the game. As a 20 year old, you don’t often see that.
‘He’s obviously going to be a fantastic prospect for South Africa and hopefully injuries will stay away. I’m sure he’s going to win many games. He’s just a special talent. He’s one of those guys, you can’t coach that, you can’t coach what he has got; that is just a natural talent.’