South Africa in England 2012 July 29, 2012

Morne Morkel shows his mongrel

49

When Morne Morkel found success in the final Test match against New Zealand in March, he did more than become the only South African to take the first six wickets in an innings. He outbowled Vernon Philander and Dale Steyn.

It was something Morkel had not done in the six matches before that, since Philander had been given the new ball ahead of him. He found a confidence he had not had before, an aggression that was usually hidden and an intensity that he did not seem able to sustain in the past.

Even when Morkel was part of what was being labelled as the world's best opening pair, it was Steyn who did put fear into the hearts of batsmen intentionally, using swing, pace and a bullying glare. Morkel had the ability to hurt them and sometimes he did, but he never tried to do that with anything other than the ball. There were no clever, or even not so clever, quips, no piercing stares that cut through a batsman's confidence and no over-heating to approach combustion, the way a typical fast bowler fumes.

Recently, that has changed. Since his six-wicket haul in Wellington, Morkel's mean streak has become a little longer and according to the bowling coach, Allan Donald, it's going to keep growing. "He has gone a little bit further in terms of his personal development," Donald said. "He has found something else, he has found a bit more of that mongrel that we talk about. I think he has overstepped the line in terms of finding someone who wants to engage in battle a little bit more"

Morkel started the tour of England as badly as a bowler can. Peter Trego hit him for six fours in the first over he bowled in Taunton. Instead of spit fire, Morkel congratulated the batsman when he walked up to him at the end of the over and gave him a friendly pat on the shoulder. He went on to concede 90 runs from his 14 overs and sprayed the ball both sides of the wicket, usually a sign that a rough patch lies ahead.

This time, though, he was able to turn that around quickly. Morkel was the one who made major incisions in Canterbury, where he enjoyed a much better and more controlled return. He was the standout bowler from the first day of The Oval Test, where he was given the new ball because of what Steyn called a "psychological edge," over Andrew Strauss who he promptly dismissed fourth ball and was the most economical bowler at New Road where he also picked up two wickers.

The steady progression of his form as the tour has gone on has been one of the clearest hints of consistency Morkel has ever given. Combined with a new found hostility, it seems Morkel is ready to take the next step.

"He is a confidence bowler, there is no question about that," Donald said. "The more he bowls, the better he bowls. He's got great confidence right now and he is in a good place. We are fine-tuning things all the time and I am not going to be pushy about that. He is learning all the time and he is starting to show us what lies on the other side of Morne Morkel."

To bring out that other side, Donald made sure that neither Morkel, nor any of the rest of the Test attack, were rested for the tour match, a move that was in complete contrast to England. None of their bowlers who played the first Test appeared in the county matches before Headingley while South Africa's pack were all put through at least three spells at New Road.

"It's easy to say Dale or Morne should have a rest but I think momentum is a big thing, not only as a team but for the bowling group," Donald said. "It's important that we tick over, and get a few overs under the belt, not as much as in a Test match but just for a bit of confidence. When you are on a tour you always look for that confidence and form and we want to maintain that."

Maintenance seems a simple task for South Africa's bowlers, especially considering that they managed to take 20 wickets on a surface which England's attack could only snaffle two but Donald said there are areas of concern he highlighted to them. "We want to get out of the blocks better," he said. "It's not that we bowled poorly on the first day at The Oval but we want to have a real solid start with the ball."

Donald believes South Africa "bowled themselves into a winning position," on the second morning last week when they dismissed England for 385. While taking nothing away from the batsmen who put in a performance "you may never see again," he said the bowling onslaught, driven by the need to up the intensity, was crucial to giving South Africa the lead.

Now that they have that advantage, Donald said the approach would be not to sit on it, but to press it home. "There's no ways we are going to sit back and wait for things to happen. We know what's coming our way and we know England will throw everything at us," he said. "We take nothing for granted. We've won a Test match but we haven't won the series."

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • MattyP1979 on July 31, 2012, 21:05 GMT

    @Jezza. Nice post. Although I cannot hear a fat lady as yet she is starting to hum. We have needed to sort out the number 6 posistion since Colly. Morgan was never going to be good enough at test. If you look at other test nations their number 6 are all fantastic players, it is such a key role to be able to guide the tail at times. We have effectivly been playing 10 men. Woakes/Finn/JT three differnet options (all-rounder, strike bowler, or bat). All three could be match winners in time and should be given a go.

  • Hammond on July 31, 2012, 11:15 GMT

    @Marcio- I know Darlinghurst isn't perfect but hey, it's much better now than when I was born there. It used to be a dump.

  • rickyvoncanterbury on July 31, 2012, 9:21 GMT

    i love it when england are in trouble in something or anything sporting, they can always TRY and hurt an australians feelings, keep up the good work and keep on struggling.

  • Marcio on July 31, 2012, 9:12 GMT

    @Hammond, your level of judgment and condemnation of everything Australian is not untypical of those who settle in another country. So I will let it rest. Those of us born there no we are not perfect - but neither is your own place of birth, just quietly.

  • ultimatewarrior on July 31, 2012, 6:05 GMT

    Nobody is saying here that IPL has not affected at all on Morne...as he is taking wickets before IPL, in the IPL and after IPL.....so no one is blaming IPL....but if he has failed or somehow lost his rhythm, everybody has said ONLY IPL IS BEHIND HIS FAILURE that sounds like every failure in this cricket world is due to just IPL and BCCI...

  • Hammond on July 31, 2012, 4:02 GMT

    @Marcio- at the moment, bog average is precisely the right terminology to use in relation to Australian sport. And it's a good thing too given the culture of "entitlement to victory" that pervades this whole country and is poking it's head up big time during the current Olympiad. @jezzastyles- Siddle would probably take my head off if I were to face him, even though I can bat ok. But I am not a test cricketer. Morkel and Siddle will both remain just on par as test bowlers, right up there with Andrew Caddick.

  • on July 31, 2012, 2:52 GMT

    @ Front-Foot-Lunge you'll find out soon enough mate when england slips down there the icing will be on the cake when an average new zealand whip them at home next year

  • MattyP1979 on July 31, 2012, 1:49 GMT

    I hope that the supposed impossible happens this week and Eng beat SA. If this happens I believe some peoples heads might explode. If Eng are truely that terrible what does it say for the other teams? Are we simply the best of a bad bunch or perhaps second best? If we do indeed lose this series at least my head wont turn into pink mist and I will post my congrates to a better team, and somehow slip in an excuse or 2 lol.

  • Lermy on July 31, 2012, 0:47 GMT

    You gotta laugh at these people (myself included) who write off a team after one bad performance. Makes you wonder if they ever played cricket themselves. There is a lot of luck involved sometimes, and whether the stars are aligned. Just ask Chris Gayle, 158 against NZ, but dropped twice in the 30s. Had those catches been held that test may have gone completely differently. England can undoubtedly play well, so can Australia, India, etc... To suggest otherwise shows incredible naivety. Have the critics of england's pace attack here ever tried bowling fast? Do they know how finely tuned and balanced a process it can be, and how some almost indetectable change in an action can affect pace, swing, etc...? No didn't think so! All they have to do is get it right and the result could be reversed. Stranger things have definitely happened!!

  • maddy20 on July 31, 2012, 0:32 GMT

    @Front-Foot-Lunge Heck of a time as in "beating no one but WI" and losing 6 of last 9 games? Yeah right!

  • MattyP1979 on July 31, 2012, 21:05 GMT

    @Jezza. Nice post. Although I cannot hear a fat lady as yet she is starting to hum. We have needed to sort out the number 6 posistion since Colly. Morgan was never going to be good enough at test. If you look at other test nations their number 6 are all fantastic players, it is such a key role to be able to guide the tail at times. We have effectivly been playing 10 men. Woakes/Finn/JT three differnet options (all-rounder, strike bowler, or bat). All three could be match winners in time and should be given a go.

  • Hammond on July 31, 2012, 11:15 GMT

    @Marcio- I know Darlinghurst isn't perfect but hey, it's much better now than when I was born there. It used to be a dump.

  • rickyvoncanterbury on July 31, 2012, 9:21 GMT

    i love it when england are in trouble in something or anything sporting, they can always TRY and hurt an australians feelings, keep up the good work and keep on struggling.

  • Marcio on July 31, 2012, 9:12 GMT

    @Hammond, your level of judgment and condemnation of everything Australian is not untypical of those who settle in another country. So I will let it rest. Those of us born there no we are not perfect - but neither is your own place of birth, just quietly.

  • ultimatewarrior on July 31, 2012, 6:05 GMT

    Nobody is saying here that IPL has not affected at all on Morne...as he is taking wickets before IPL, in the IPL and after IPL.....so no one is blaming IPL....but if he has failed or somehow lost his rhythm, everybody has said ONLY IPL IS BEHIND HIS FAILURE that sounds like every failure in this cricket world is due to just IPL and BCCI...

  • Hammond on July 31, 2012, 4:02 GMT

    @Marcio- at the moment, bog average is precisely the right terminology to use in relation to Australian sport. And it's a good thing too given the culture of "entitlement to victory" that pervades this whole country and is poking it's head up big time during the current Olympiad. @jezzastyles- Siddle would probably take my head off if I were to face him, even though I can bat ok. But I am not a test cricketer. Morkel and Siddle will both remain just on par as test bowlers, right up there with Andrew Caddick.

  • on July 31, 2012, 2:52 GMT

    @ Front-Foot-Lunge you'll find out soon enough mate when england slips down there the icing will be on the cake when an average new zealand whip them at home next year

  • MattyP1979 on July 31, 2012, 1:49 GMT

    I hope that the supposed impossible happens this week and Eng beat SA. If this happens I believe some peoples heads might explode. If Eng are truely that terrible what does it say for the other teams? Are we simply the best of a bad bunch or perhaps second best? If we do indeed lose this series at least my head wont turn into pink mist and I will post my congrates to a better team, and somehow slip in an excuse or 2 lol.

  • Lermy on July 31, 2012, 0:47 GMT

    You gotta laugh at these people (myself included) who write off a team after one bad performance. Makes you wonder if they ever played cricket themselves. There is a lot of luck involved sometimes, and whether the stars are aligned. Just ask Chris Gayle, 158 against NZ, but dropped twice in the 30s. Had those catches been held that test may have gone completely differently. England can undoubtedly play well, so can Australia, India, etc... To suggest otherwise shows incredible naivety. Have the critics of england's pace attack here ever tried bowling fast? Do they know how finely tuned and balanced a process it can be, and how some almost indetectable change in an action can affect pace, swing, etc...? No didn't think so! All they have to do is get it right and the result could be reversed. Stranger things have definitely happened!!

  • maddy20 on July 31, 2012, 0:32 GMT

    @Front-Foot-Lunge Heck of a time as in "beating no one but WI" and losing 6 of last 9 games? Yeah right!

  • jezzastyles on July 31, 2012, 0:24 GMT

    @m1191vicky - every cricket board throughout the world has some say in the types of wickets produced for test cricket - when AUS were top of the heap with Warne & McGrath, we prepared wickets that suited - a bit of life early, then more spin-friendly on days 3-5. All cricketing nations do this - very naive to suggest they do otherwise. PS - the better sides are ranked higher than the less consistent / weaker sides, forget all of the dribble posted recently that suggests otherwise. The ONLY way to rank sides is via results; hence, ENG are currently #1, and the fat lady hasn't begun singing yet.

  • jezzastyles on July 31, 2012, 0:12 GMT

    @Hammond - You post that Morkel is a fine bowler (he is a good bowler, I'm not disputing this - 144 wickets in 40 tests at 29.77 average), but then bag Siddle of AUS (117 wickets in 32 tests at 29.27), who has almost identical figures to Morkel?? A pity you don't want to play for AUS - because, as a batsmen, if you could really handle Siddle with such nonchalance, then the ACB selectors would be knocking your door down, given our current batting depth (lack thereof). And you cite his performance for VIC vs. NSW; strongly doubt you even saw his bowling or tuned in in any way (Apr 2012), 1/35 and 3/57 - certtainly couldn't say he ripped through NSW, but not exactly poor figures either. Thanks for the "balanced" perspective. Barring severe injury to Steyn, I seriously doubt that Finn will DEFINITELY be the BEST fast bowler in the world in 2-3 years - very bold statement. Roach from WI looks good recently; PAK have some good prospects also; and don't write-off Pattinson/Cummins!!

  • Robster1 on July 30, 2012, 23:20 GMT

    Before too long there will be a test match where Morkel destroys a quality opposition. He has every weapon going.

  • on July 30, 2012, 21:21 GMT

    There might not be a team like the all-conquering West Indies or Australian teams of the past, but clearly South Africa is the deserved no. 1 at the moment. The English team has been so hot and cold - it is extraordinary. Their performance against Pakistan was a shocker and they were completely emasculated in the last test in somewhat alien conditions - this was completely unexpected of them. The next two tests where they will probably prepare greentops will tell us if they can at least compete with SA in conditions that suit them, because it is clear that they are very poor otherwise.

  • MattyP1979 on July 30, 2012, 20:30 GMT

    Vicky. It is not often I can say that I can say I disagree with everything someone has posted (that includes RandyOZ). So I thanks for your post. Pummeled when they visit??? Which side mate? I recall us losing a few games but most if not all could of gone either way. We like to give the Aussies some stick but they always put up a fight, as did the WI. The only team that has been pummled is IND both to Eng and Aus. 8-0 and how many were thrashings? Eng are a good side, might not be no.1 for long but we deserved to be there and SA will if they get there.

  • m1991vicky on July 30, 2012, 19:39 GMT

    This present English team is not fit enough to be the No.1 side in the world; they may be now, but I don't see them to hold it for a month. They prepare pitches that wholly and truly suit them to thrash others at home but get pummeled when they visit. Now they are gonna feel the taste of their own medicine from South Africa. It is really hard to remember when was the last time an English side won a test series in the subcontinent, excluding Bangladesh. They certainly didn't win one in India in my lifetime. Series against South Africa, India, Australia........ Probably the sun is gonna set in this so called empire :)

  • m1991vicky on July 30, 2012, 19:28 GMT

    @Front-foot-Lunge: " With every other international side so far away from the world's top two" - Come on man, whom are you kidding - At the present scenario, no team is the best in the world under all conditions. England got whitewashed 3-0 to Pakistan and South Africa couldn't beat even the present Australian team, that too at home :( England prepare green tops at home and attack the visitors. I don't think top sides in the past like the West Indies and Australia did that when they were at the peak of the world. They ran through all sides irrespective of the pitch or conditions. No present team is greater than the other. In present scenario, all depends on the conditions. This is bad from cricket point of view.

  • MattyP1979 on July 30, 2012, 19:01 GMT

    At least with Eng losing the opening match the roaches are out posting. Cricket games go either way, these teams are closer than the result showed. Eng will always be on a hiding to nothing, if they win its beacsue of home advantage or that some players had a SA grandparent, if they lose its because they are rubbish and over-rated. Eng are a good side, the best we have mustered in a long time. This grates a few. We are no.1 right now, come the end of this series who knows but we are still a damn good side. We have problems, but we are facing another very good team. Will Amla/Kallis and co perform better in the next match, and will Eng play worse....I doubt that VERY much. All to play for.

  • Marcio on July 30, 2012, 19:01 GMT

    @Hammond, "bog average" seems to be your favourite term for describing anything Australian. Siddle did damn well in Sri Lanka last time round. Helped Australia win the Tests and ODIs. Did damn well in SA, too. How did England go last time in Sri Lanka, and against SA at home?

  • on July 30, 2012, 18:45 GMT

    Morkel also had the best run in IPL , and now performing well in Tests. Successful bowler allround

  • MattyP1979 on July 30, 2012, 18:38 GMT

    MM is a very decent bowler, always has been. SA attack IS the best in the world in most conditions. However alot of people here are writing Eng off already, if the game was reversed no Eng fan would of write off SA. 2 more to play and I cannot see Eng playing worse than they did so bring it on. It is and was always going to be tough series (like most these days), if pressed I was always going to be happy with a drawn series.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on July 30, 2012, 17:26 GMT

    RandyOz: Us England fans have been having one heck of a time in the last three years at your expense, just how is Australia getting on at the bottom of the pile?

  • on July 30, 2012, 17:25 GMT

    @ Hammond, are you serious?? Morkel is "certainly not superior to any individual England bowler in the side at the moment."?? He has a better average than both broad, anderson and is far quicker than either of them! In case you need not see the 1st test, he outbowled them as well on an unhelpful wicket. Imagine him on a green track! He is currently ranked 6th on in test rankings as well...As for finn, that is on mighty prediction for a guy that can't break into the playing XI forget about top 10!

  • subbass on July 30, 2012, 17:03 GMT

    Cue match figures of 0-200 for Morne in the next Test.

  • mahjut on July 30, 2012, 16:13 GMT

    @RandyOZ ... i kinda see what you mean about the Oz draw but really Eng drew with SA in SA too ... SA are still a flawed side (this test will be VERY interesting in terms of whether they've finally become something close to what they are on paper) - very good away but not fantastic at home and not just that, they really haven't crossed over the Warne/Waugh/Mcgrath/Gilly days with the old-boys (Smith, Kallis, Boucher [i know, sad!], and to a lesser degree AB) still such a massive influence...meaning beating Oz is a mental thing (the english have completely overcome it but SA not yet it seem - the edge has smoothed since beating Oz at home but there's a residue that's pretty apparent). however, the last test they looked as good as any team i've watched, but unless they can do it again (and i mean win the next test ... doesn't have to be a slaughter - it'll be about the bats next test i'd imagine, with lower scores) they'll still simply be a very very good side... but flawed nonetheless!!

  • Hammond on July 30, 2012, 15:01 GMT

    @Marcio- Siddle is bog average, and last time I saw him bowl (at the SCG against NSW) he looked so scary I reckon I could have played him. Finn will be the best fast bowler in the world in 2-3 years. No dramas. Pattinson is injury prone and always has been, and Cummins is even more brittle than Bruce Reid was. Morkel is a fine bowler, but certainly not superior to any individual England bowler in the side at the moment.

  • on July 30, 2012, 14:07 GMT

    my personal advice to england team dont prepare a track aiding swing and seam. your main threat then comes from neither steyn nor morkel but philander. he would slice through your side like a knife goes through butter. better prepare a dead or bouncy pitch. anderson wont be able to stand up to either amla or kallis irrespective of the weather conditions. he is not such a great bowler ,just a good bowler. pls dont over rate your players and compare with them to the likes of amla , kallis, steyn etc. simply put england are no match for this southafrican team. better forfeit the remaining test matches and escape being humiliated again. and do remember that india are waiting for you.

  • Theredbaron on July 30, 2012, 13:43 GMT

    South Africa has a huge advantage going into the second test. What ever wicket is prepared by the curator, SA have the arsenal of bowlers to exploit those conditions, as they proved in the first test. England bowlers were so predictable and made life very easy for the SA batsman. If England decide to prepare a Green Mamba, this game could be finished in two days and give time for the SA team to spend the next three days in London enjoying the Olympics

  • Marcio on July 30, 2012, 13:21 GMT

    There's a tendency to see everything through the last 5 minutes. The next game is a another story. Still, English conditions will suit SA in bowling just as much as England - thus nullifying England's gretest strength at home. @Hammond if pace is everything, Sean Tait would be the greatest bowler going around, and Peter Siddle would be better than Steyn, Morkel and Finn - he clocked 154km/hr in one test vs India last year - and Pattinson 153, BTW. There are actually few bowlers who bowl an AVERAGE speed over 140. Half of Finn's deliveries are in the 130s, and half of Broad's in the 120s this lpast season. Broad's lack of penetration was something I noted during the Windies series, but a few English posters took exception to my pointing it out.

  • on July 30, 2012, 13:20 GMT

    Well his spell at KP on the fourth afternoon was a tremendous effort I thought, probably the best spell of that test and yielded a very big wicket. He certainly showed in that spell that he can take it to another level.

  • StatisticsRocks on July 30, 2012, 13:18 GMT

    A very fine bowler indeed. I addition a very pleasing personality. The way he got KP in the first test match was a treat to watch.

  • on July 30, 2012, 12:22 GMT

    I really looked forward to another 150 runs or rather 151 runs to Graeme Swann's name in the test... loved every second he was smacked around...

  • jezzastyles on July 30, 2012, 12:11 GMT

    As Donald is quoted in this article, "we take nothing for granted". Sage advice from a great fast bowler (and he was faster than anyone in either of the current two squads). Cricket can be a great evener, and every now & again a team loses from an unassailable position - SA fans should not discount the Pommy attack. Anderson is a world-class bowler, who, with the right conditions, can be every bit as devastating as Steyn (not as intimidating, but when the ball is swinging, he's bloody hard to handle). ENG must prepare a track that offers the pace bowlers something. Yes, it's a gamble, but at 1-0 down they need to hit back, a draw avails them nothing. Win the toss and bowl, and back their bowlers to do the job. If the reverse happens, then this excellent ENG batting lineup must stand up & be counted.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on July 30, 2012, 11:11 GMT

    Always been Quality when he gets it right. With every other international side so far away from the world's top two, we're surely witnessing the best cricketing contest for a decade.

  • Ross_Co on July 30, 2012, 10:50 GMT

    The mongrel surely is the 'England' cricket team - a bitzer if ever there was one.

  • RandyOZ on July 30, 2012, 10:41 GMT

    To think that on paper he is South Africa's 3rd best bowler, is a scary thought. I guess that's what makes Australia's drawn series with them in South Africa so good, and makes England's capitulation so unsurprising!

  • Hammond on July 30, 2012, 10:22 GMT

    Very fine bowler who is yet to really take the world by storm. Averages the same as Broad and Anderson (who have pretty average averages themselves). I can envisage Finn being very probably the finest fast bowler in the world in a few years time. He's got the height of Morkel and the pace of Steyn.

  • jezzastyles on July 30, 2012, 9:32 GMT

    144 wickets in 40 tests at 29.77 average; a decent bowling effort, but by no means fantastic. He bowled very well in the 1st Test vs. ENG, he needs to carry this form through the remaining two tests. I agree with Clan_McLachlan, he needs to bowl with consistent line & length; as for the "mongrel" issue, if Morkel is a "nice guy", then trying to transform him into an intimidator is laughable - it's not in his nature. Nice guys can still be fiercely competitive, and that's all you really want on the cricket pitch. Looking forward to the Leeds test.

  • StaalBurgher on July 30, 2012, 8:54 GMT

    Morkel's "niceness" has been a long running criticism. Would be good if can up the aggression a bit.

  • on July 30, 2012, 8:46 GMT

    There's talk going around that Headingly will be more of a bowler's pitch, so that Anderson and co. can have a bit of assistance. That's a double edged sword, by the looks of things, the SA attack were not even firing on all cylinders at the Oval. You have to feel a bit sorry for the English team, because the Home Press are going to tear them apart like dogs, if they have another poor showing. With the Press, you're either the best, or you're rubbish. They're an unforgiving lot.

    Even if the Proteas are not as dominating as they were last test, I don't see England levelling the series at Headingly. With 7 out of the 11 players occupying the top of the ICC batsmen and bowler rankings, you have to back the Proteas. If the English come back to win, it will be a miracle for them. And then it's off to the happy hunting ground of Lords.

    It's a good time to be South African..

  • Swaer on July 30, 2012, 6:46 GMT

    Firdoze, I wish you wouldn't write these guys up so effusively - it's tempting fate! Let's hope the three of them can overcome the hex on Thursday. I also hope Morne has read the advice to forget about mongrel, just find his line and length. If he does that, then he can grump a little.

  • on July 30, 2012, 5:38 GMT

    i guess gary and donald will take SA to great heights....gary , india misses u mate...

  • Clan_McLachlan on July 30, 2012, 5:30 GMT

    Never mind his 'mongrel', I'll be happy if he finds his line and length.

  • on July 30, 2012, 4:58 GMT

    come headinlgey, if all 3 fires together, england have K2 to climb blindfolded to get bach into the series ! Go PROTEA!

  • on July 30, 2012, 4:27 GMT

    morne was amazing in this format,more than his one day performence,now south africa has dangerous bowlers lke dale steyn,philander and morne.now its very gud to see imran thahir is bowling well.gud luck for 2nd test i am eager to see that

  • satish619chandar on July 30, 2012, 4:25 GMT

    A in-form Morne will add more spark and zip to SA attack.. If he can maintain the same tempo throughout the series, it is going to be really awesome.. I really wish ABD puts himself above team and keeps wicket for this all important series to add more balance to the team.. Yes it will be a huge workload but the importance of this series would demand such a dedication from a key player..

  • on July 30, 2012, 4:24 GMT

    This is why coaches like Allan Donald are gems.. Bring this mindset to the team and completely change the fortunes of any team!

  • disco_bob on July 30, 2012, 4:13 GMT

    Really looking forward to this next match. My guess is that it will be like the last Ind/Aus series and I expect a similar result to the Oval.

  • Percy_Fender on July 30, 2012, 4:05 GMT

    Mongrel seems to be the buzz word now. I had a mongrel some years ago and he was ferocious even when it was not needed. In fact Morne Morkel's first over on this tour having been pummelled for 6 fours, is something that my mongrel would approve. Morkel has hieght and pace. He is also very fit. I can see him become a great fast bowler as he has shown the world already.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • Percy_Fender on July 30, 2012, 4:05 GMT

    Mongrel seems to be the buzz word now. I had a mongrel some years ago and he was ferocious even when it was not needed. In fact Morne Morkel's first over on this tour having been pummelled for 6 fours, is something that my mongrel would approve. Morkel has hieght and pace. He is also very fit. I can see him become a great fast bowler as he has shown the world already.

  • disco_bob on July 30, 2012, 4:13 GMT

    Really looking forward to this next match. My guess is that it will be like the last Ind/Aus series and I expect a similar result to the Oval.

  • on July 30, 2012, 4:24 GMT

    This is why coaches like Allan Donald are gems.. Bring this mindset to the team and completely change the fortunes of any team!

  • satish619chandar on July 30, 2012, 4:25 GMT

    A in-form Morne will add more spark and zip to SA attack.. If he can maintain the same tempo throughout the series, it is going to be really awesome.. I really wish ABD puts himself above team and keeps wicket for this all important series to add more balance to the team.. Yes it will be a huge workload but the importance of this series would demand such a dedication from a key player..

  • on July 30, 2012, 4:27 GMT

    morne was amazing in this format,more than his one day performence,now south africa has dangerous bowlers lke dale steyn,philander and morne.now its very gud to see imran thahir is bowling well.gud luck for 2nd test i am eager to see that

  • on July 30, 2012, 4:58 GMT

    come headinlgey, if all 3 fires together, england have K2 to climb blindfolded to get bach into the series ! Go PROTEA!

  • Clan_McLachlan on July 30, 2012, 5:30 GMT

    Never mind his 'mongrel', I'll be happy if he finds his line and length.

  • on July 30, 2012, 5:38 GMT

    i guess gary and donald will take SA to great heights....gary , india misses u mate...

  • Swaer on July 30, 2012, 6:46 GMT

    Firdoze, I wish you wouldn't write these guys up so effusively - it's tempting fate! Let's hope the three of them can overcome the hex on Thursday. I also hope Morne has read the advice to forget about mongrel, just find his line and length. If he does that, then he can grump a little.

  • on July 30, 2012, 8:46 GMT

    There's talk going around that Headingly will be more of a bowler's pitch, so that Anderson and co. can have a bit of assistance. That's a double edged sword, by the looks of things, the SA attack were not even firing on all cylinders at the Oval. You have to feel a bit sorry for the English team, because the Home Press are going to tear them apart like dogs, if they have another poor showing. With the Press, you're either the best, or you're rubbish. They're an unforgiving lot.

    Even if the Proteas are not as dominating as they were last test, I don't see England levelling the series at Headingly. With 7 out of the 11 players occupying the top of the ICC batsmen and bowler rankings, you have to back the Proteas. If the English come back to win, it will be a miracle for them. And then it's off to the happy hunting ground of Lords.

    It's a good time to be South African..