Morkel surprised by slow Durban pitch

News

Seamer Morne Morkel has insisted the pitch used for the ongoing second Test between South Africa and India is not meeting expectations.

Seamer Morne Morkel has insisted the pitch used for the ongoing second Test between South Africa and India is not meeting expectations.

Traditionally primed for plenty of pace and carry, conditions at Kingsmead in Durban instead proved sluggish and unresponsive, after visiting captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni won the toss and opted to bowl first on day one of the series decider.

Morkel took the only wicket of the day, removing opener Shikhar Dhawan in the 14th over, before half-centurions Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar pushed the total to 181 for one.

"We as bowlers were a little bit surprised by the pace of the wicket. We thought it was a touch on the slow side. As a bowling unit it was important for us to move away from that," said Morkel.

"After the first five- or 10-over spells we came together as a unit and decided that we would have to deal with the conditions. It is very dry. It is a touch on the slow side, but what I was personally surprised by was the fact that after 13 overs the ball looked 60 overs old.

"We have to find a way to bring reverse swing into the game. It's the sort of wicket that is going to be tough to strike on, but it's important for us to restrict them and take wickets, that's the mindset that we have to have."

The tall Morkel's fitness remained in the balance for the four days prior to this fixture, after an ankle injury during the first Test at the Wanderers in Johannesburg saw the inexperienced Kyle Abbott called up as cover.

Morkel, however, recovered sufficiently to be named in an unchanged seam attack. The Proteas, meanwhile, replaced leg-spinner Imran Tahir with left-arm slow bowler Robin Peterson.

"I did a lot of rehabilitation and work with Proteas physiotherapist Brandon Jackson, the magic man behind the scenes, I need to give him all the credit," added Morkel.

"Our main concern was to get the swelling down. As soon as the swelling went down we were able to work on it, which made it easier. I am happy to be playing this Test."

Latest