Morkel eyes home comforts
Morne Morkel is relishing the prospect of teaming up with Dale Steyn to take on India on familiar turf in Centurion.
Last Updated: 14/12/10 3:37pm
South Africa paceman Morne Morkel is relishing the prospect of attacking India with new ball partner Dale Steyn on familiar turf in Centurion.
The pair have played most of their first-class career for the Nashua Titans at SuperSport Park and in all likelihood will open the bowling there for the Proteas in the first Test, starting on Thursday.
Overcast and damp conditions are expected for the contest, handing an opportunity to the bowlers as the top two ranked Test sides in the world begin their three-match series.
And Morkel says it will be a special occasion for him and Steyn, who recently left the Titans to join the Cape Cobras.
"Dale learnt his trade here and it is going to be special to be bowling with him on our home ground," the fast bowler said.
Although the Centurion pitch has not recently offered as much help to the seamers as in previous years, Morkel says his only first-class match for the Titans this season proves there is still life in the wicket.
He added: "We asked for a nice quick wicket and we bowled out the Warriors for 70. The pace and bounce was very good for the first three days but later it became a good deck."
But despite the familiar surroundings and favourable conditions, Morkel believes India's opening batsmen Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag must still be considered a major threat.
He said: "Not long ago Gautam was the number one batsman in the world and we all know how destructive Virender can be against the new ball."
"It's a contest we are looking forward to. We all know that on South African wickets the ball tends to bounce a little bit longer where in India we only have five overs or so (to strike) with the new ball," the 26-year-old added.
Proteas batsman Ashwell Prince also expects a difficult pitch for batting and thinks the India seamers will excel on the lively wicket.
"The weather forecast is not good and as long as there is rain about there will be moisture in the pitch. We are expecting the ball to do a bit," he said.
Prince added: "Their fast bowlers normally do very well in the sub-continent, which doesn't support fast bowling, so we expect them to do well in conditions that help them."