Where to for Morne Morkel? SuperSport analysts Shaun Pollock and HD Ackerman look at day two of the fourth Test against England and the role of South Africa’s senior bowler.
Shaun Pollock: ‘South Africa are in a very strong position, but they will need eight quick wickets, and the question is, where are they going to come from? It doesn’t look as if there are eight quick wickets just around the corner. It seems to have have flattened out and it will be a hard day for South Africa.
‘Should Morne have been given the new ball? I don’t think he can blast out an attack or can knock people over at will, it seems a bit of a grind for him at this moment. Perhaps with a new ball, he will have more opportunity to do that, but he doesn’t look likely to.
‘I have no problem with those two [Rabada and Abbott] starting, but if there is no swing, maybe after two overs you should get him in as quickly as possible. On that surface, where there is no movement, Morne’s bounce will be something the batsmen will have to deal with.
To get those eight wickets, perhaps start with Morkel tomorrow, get him to run in for three or five overs and then the others guys have to bowl with control. Let’s hope that tomorrow, after they put the big roller on, he gets a chance.
But Rabada has become the go-to guy because he is the man in form and is getting wickets. He got a five-for at the Wanderers, and a couple here, so he has the luck rolling for him and when a guy keeps getting you wickets, it’s natural you will turn to him.
HD Ackerman: I would like to have seen him take the new ball, only because there was no swing for Rabada and Abbott. I would have thought that Morkel to Cook, from around the wicket, early on, might have been useful.
Before the match starts, Morkel is the guy who will give you sleepless nights. He is someone you give a great deal of thought to. The other two have the skill, but there was no swing on offer, so give the ball to Morkel and see if he can do anything. If not, well then go back to the other guys.
The two guys who are in now, they are the big wickets South Africa need to get. There is not much chance of pulling a false stroke from them, and England bat a long way down. It is going to be a very hard day for South Africa.
South Africa will feel that if they can bowl England out and get a lead of 80, there’s enough time to get a result. But they will not want parity, because then all the demons from the Wanderers will come back.