Morkel: India will miss Sachin

India

Morne Morkel believes India's party currently on tour in South Africa will miss the patient approach of Sachin Tendulkar during the upcoming Test series.

<b>Morne Morkel believes India's party currently on tour in South Africa will miss the patient approach of Sachin Tendulkar during the upcoming Test series.</b>

The lanky quick bowler added that India's batsmen should expect some hostile bowling in the first Test, which starts on Wednesday in Johannesburg, after struggling to get to grips with the Proteas' pace battery during the recently-completed ODI series which the home side won 2-0.

"Sachin was a batsman who could bat for a long time. And he put the bowlers and the opposition under pressure by batting for a long time. He was the rock for their batting. He could bat with the top-order and the middle order both," Morkel told <i>NDTV Sport</i> on Monday.

"These young Indian batsmen are quality players, but we can clearly see from the ODI series that they are attacking batsmen who like to come at the bowling. It will be interesting to see how they go about this.

"Like I said, they are all very quality guys. Rohit Sharma has been scoring runs off late and Cheteshwar Pujara can bat for time at number three. Even Ravichandran Aswhin averages 40 at the back-end of their line-up. So we need to make use of the early morning conditions with the new ball. We need to be on the money from Wednesday itself, otherwise they can score quickly and at Wanderers, sometimes it can be a high scoring game.

"Virat has done well in Australia and scored some runs when India toured there last. He is a quality player. But he is obviously going to slot into Sachin's role and he has got some big boots to fill. He can do it very well, don't take me wrong, but it is going to be a testing time for him at number four."

Despite India's struggles during the ODI series, when they lost the two completed matches by 141 and 136 runs respectively, Morkel insisted that the world's number one-ranked Test side won't overdo the short-pitched bowling.

"The nature of the Wanderers' pitch is that is has always been bouncy and quick," Morkel continued.

"It can be a high scoring game, if the batsmen get in. So the margins for bowlers are definitely a bit smaller here, because of the ball coming onto the wicket and the outfield here.

"It is going to be crucial how we use the pace and bounce. But we need not to get too carried away. The Indian bowlers struggled to find the right lengths in the first ODI and it takes some time to adapt to the conditions here. So we need to be smart about using the conditions as well."

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