Albie Morkel May 22, 2009

'I'd make lunch two hours long'

Chennai's Saffie allrounder on what he'd do if he ran the game, his all-time idol, and the Super Kings theme song

So by now I guess you know the secret to getting MS Dhoni out?
Obviously with the World Twenty20 coming up soon, as a bowler I would've loved to pick up some things about him, but he doesn't give too much away. The big deciding factor would be if he is going to be in form or not.

Is it true that Stephen Fleming has written a team anthem for Chennai?
Yes, we've got a team song which we sing after every win to encourage team spirit. It has some nice words. Fleming and George Bailey co-wrote it, and the tune is based on the Smokie single "Living next door to Alice".

Can you share a line or two?
Nah, you can only hear it in the Chennai Super Kings' change room.

Tell us something we don't know about you.
Come December, I will be a father of a boy.

What is the most commonly used swear word in Afrikaans?
Probably the f-word. The only difference being the sound.

What did you tell Morne when you were told you were replacing him for your debut Test?
I didn't really say anything much. Obviously it was a big disappointment for him, but on the other hand it was happiness for me. He was supportive of me on my debut and I was supportive of him since he was dropped. We never really had any sort of competition growing up, as we are different sort of players: he is more of a strike bowler, while I'm an allrounder.

Does Roelof van der Merwe ever look at the ball when he hits it?
You're gonna have to ask him. Yes, it looks weird on TV: his head is down while he hits over point for six. He is pretty unique, but I'm sure he watches the ball.

If you were running cricket, what's the one change you would make?
I'd make the lunch interval in four-day games about two hours long, so we can have an afternoon siesta.

But seriously?
I would like to get rid of the free hit for a no-ball. It is already a batsman's game and the bowlers are having a hard time all the time as it is.

Are you a walker?
If it is blatant, yes! In the end it evens itself out, because many times you get a bad decision and you can't do anything about it.

A bowler from all-time you would like to be?
Shaun Pollock. He is my idol both for his bowling and batting, and one day I would like to have his record.

Is there any disadvantage of being tall?
Actually I would like to be a bit taller to get more bounce. Six-three is a good height to have.

Is there any one thing your captain tells you not to do that you still end up doing?
The captain says "Back yourself, back yourself," after every delivery, but sometimes as you charge in and just before the last step, you see the batsman move and you get distracted. That is the most common thing.

What are the wisest words of advice you've heard?
"Keep it simple."

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at Cricinfo