Morkel praises contribution of spinner Maharaj

South Africa

South Africa seamer Morne Morkel has lauded the contribution of spinner Keshav Maharaj after the Proteas’ series-levelling victory over England in the second Test at Trent Bridge.

Left-arm tweaker Maharaj was the unsung hero for the visitors as they beat the hosts by 340 runs in Nottingham with the four-match series now at one-all with two games to play.

Maharaj took 3/21 from 10 overs in the first innings on a pitch that was more suited for seam bowling while in the second innings the 27-year-old returned figures of 3/42 in 12 overs.

Morkel praised the work done by the Dolphins slow-bowler, who has been a revelation since making his Test debut in Australia last year.

In quotes published on the IOL website, Morkel said: “The whole (fast bowling) unit can thank Keshav. For him to bowl exceptionally well, keep up an end to allow all the seamers to rotate, it’s something this team desperately needed.

“He works so hard … he’s the guy who’s on the early bus, works endless hours with (spin bowling coach) Claude Henderson.”

Maharaj, who has so far captured 36 wickets in nine Tests, says his job in the side is to just stop the game from one end so the faster bowlers can go at the batsmen from the other side.

He was also thankful for the guidance of Henderson and the Proteas’ video analyst, Prasanna Agoram.

Maharaj said: “I’m very grateful to Hendo. We’ve been working on control of the ball, trying to spin it more. Tactically, him and Prasanna (Agoram, the team’s video analyst) have a very good relationship.

“Through that they’re always trying to get me to understand batsmen’s thoughts. A lot of time is spent away from the nets, behind a computer working out game plans.”

“I’m just trying to stop the game, and hold up an end and the seamers can get the wickets.”