South Africa v India, 1st Test, Johannesburg, 3rd day December 20, 2013

Injured Morkel unable to bowl in rest of match

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'High-heel shoes not a good idea'

South Africa fast bowler Morne Morkel will not be able to bowl anymore in the ongoing Test against India, after suffering an ankle ligament injury just before lunch on the third day at the Wanderers. His participation in the second Test is also in doubt, with team manager Mohammad Moosajee saying a grade one ligament injury usually takes seven to ten days to heal.

Morkel's unavailability left South Africa in a dire position in the first Test: India's lead was 67 when he hobbled off before lunch and they had extended it beyond 250 with eight wickets in hand by the time the severity of the injury was confirmed. He will bat in South Africa's second innings only if absolutely necessary.

"Losing Morne is probably worse pain than my toothache," Vernon Philander, who bowled 18 overs in Morkel's absence, said after the day's play.

Morkel fell while fielding in the over before lunch and appeared to have twisted his right ankle when his foot got stuck in the turf as he ran around from fine leg to collect a ball. He managed to throw the ball back to the wicketkeeper but then went down, clutching his ankle. South Africa's captain, Graeme Smith, was at his side immediately and one of the fielders called for a stretcher, but after the physiotherapist Brandon Jackson arrived on the field, Morkel was able to walk off, helped by bowling coach Allan Donald.

Morkel had bowled only two overs in the second innings before he was injured. He had been South Africa's most impressive bowler in India's first innings, taking three wickets and generating steep bounce. By the end of the first session on the third day, India had reached 31 for 1, extending their lead to 67 runs.

The second Test in Durban begins on December 26.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Sir_Ivor on December 20, 2013, 15:58 GMT

    It is most unfortunate that Mornie Morkel has got injured. He is a devastating bowler and has pace and movement apart from skills of execution. Though India have done well despite Steyn Philander Kallis and the spin bowlers bowling as well as they are expected to, Morkel would have made it that much more difficult for the men in blue. I wish he recovers fully before the Australians come at least because he is a vital cog for the Saffas.

  • on December 23, 2013, 12:19 GMT

    where is hendrics , viljon and de lange....but good to see abott back.

  • Gareth_Bain on December 21, 2013, 8:40 GMT

    Cpt.Meanster: "In overseas conditions, mainly in Asia"... 6 wickets for 138 runs in 2 tests in the UAE constitutes a battering now???

  • Gordo85 on December 21, 2013, 8:19 GMT

    One of these three players I think will most likely replace him.

    1. Beuran Hendricks (if Robin Peterson plays 2nd Test he could help him) 2. Kyle Abbott (Played one Test to date and can Bat) 3. Ayabulela Gqamane (playing ok but went through rough patch)

    I guess I would go for whichever player is the tallest but then again the numbers may have a say in that as well.

  • Cpt.Meanster on December 21, 2013, 4:57 GMT

    Without Morkel and Steyn, SA are ordinary. Philander is good but that's mainly in home conditions. In overseas conditions, mainly in Asia, he will be taken apart. So does this mean SA are no.1 only at home ? This is why test cricket is so puzzling. There is too much disparity between home teams and visiting teams. Hopefully, an Indian victory will rewrite all of that in the next 2 days.

  • Sumeet.Gupta on December 21, 2013, 3:23 GMT

    great bowler. The true test of this batting lineup would have been with him on fire as well. I'm sure Pujara and Kohli will agree to it as well. Morkel was indeed the most dangerous of the SA trio. Get well soon man, hope to see you in Durban.

  • on December 21, 2013, 2:54 GMT

    nothing new in test cricket... sure SA is not depending only on morkel, if yes then its for their own undoing... if steyn and co can't do the job in their own den then our batters would have achieved a enormous victory... look out for more action today.

  • on December 21, 2013, 2:35 GMT

    Nothing new test cricket, if SA is depending only on morkel then its for their own undoing.... if steyn and co can't do the job on their own den then its a enormous victory for our batters... what a credible performance from batting side, way to go team India....

  • on December 20, 2013, 23:27 GMT

    great loss SA attack..get well soon buddy

  • on December 20, 2013, 22:02 GMT

    SA bowling unit looks like a ship without navigation

  • Sir_Ivor on December 20, 2013, 15:58 GMT

    It is most unfortunate that Mornie Morkel has got injured. He is a devastating bowler and has pace and movement apart from skills of execution. Though India have done well despite Steyn Philander Kallis and the spin bowlers bowling as well as they are expected to, Morkel would have made it that much more difficult for the men in blue. I wish he recovers fully before the Australians come at least because he is a vital cog for the Saffas.

  • on December 23, 2013, 12:19 GMT

    where is hendrics , viljon and de lange....but good to see abott back.

  • Gareth_Bain on December 21, 2013, 8:40 GMT

    Cpt.Meanster: "In overseas conditions, mainly in Asia"... 6 wickets for 138 runs in 2 tests in the UAE constitutes a battering now???

  • Gordo85 on December 21, 2013, 8:19 GMT

    One of these three players I think will most likely replace him.

    1. Beuran Hendricks (if Robin Peterson plays 2nd Test he could help him) 2. Kyle Abbott (Played one Test to date and can Bat) 3. Ayabulela Gqamane (playing ok but went through rough patch)

    I guess I would go for whichever player is the tallest but then again the numbers may have a say in that as well.

  • Cpt.Meanster on December 21, 2013, 4:57 GMT

    Without Morkel and Steyn, SA are ordinary. Philander is good but that's mainly in home conditions. In overseas conditions, mainly in Asia, he will be taken apart. So does this mean SA are no.1 only at home ? This is why test cricket is so puzzling. There is too much disparity between home teams and visiting teams. Hopefully, an Indian victory will rewrite all of that in the next 2 days.

  • Sumeet.Gupta on December 21, 2013, 3:23 GMT

    great bowler. The true test of this batting lineup would have been with him on fire as well. I'm sure Pujara and Kohli will agree to it as well. Morkel was indeed the most dangerous of the SA trio. Get well soon man, hope to see you in Durban.

  • on December 21, 2013, 2:54 GMT

    nothing new in test cricket... sure SA is not depending only on morkel, if yes then its for their own undoing... if steyn and co can't do the job in their own den then our batters would have achieved a enormous victory... look out for more action today.

  • on December 21, 2013, 2:35 GMT

    Nothing new test cricket, if SA is depending only on morkel then its for their own undoing.... if steyn and co can't do the job on their own den then its a enormous victory for our batters... what a credible performance from batting side, way to go team India....

  • on December 20, 2013, 23:27 GMT

    great loss SA attack..get well soon buddy

  • on December 20, 2013, 22:02 GMT

    SA bowling unit looks like a ship without navigation

  • on December 20, 2013, 20:19 GMT

    Quoting Mr. Navjyot Singh Sidhu: "An Injured predator, will go for the kill". Team India, cross your fingers in Durban Test.

  • kc69 on December 20, 2013, 20:09 GMT

    The only sentence that comes into mind after hearing this news is "Fortune Favours the brave" and the brave in this part is team India who now have a good chance of beating SA in SA.

  • GrindAR on December 20, 2013, 19:30 GMT

    it was like loosing Zaheer in Eng tour the very first spell. His bowling in tandem always keep batsmen unsettled.

  • BRUTALANALYST on December 20, 2013, 18:44 GMT

    Such a huge loss and disappointment, as if the series being put down to 2 games wasn't bad enough SA have now lost the key-man of their attack ! His bounce was causing the Indian batsman so much discomfort first innings and I was really looking forward to seeing further battles between bat and ball.

  • kunderan on December 20, 2013, 18:34 GMT

    Looked awful when it happened. Lucky for India but feel really sorry for Morne. A gentleman among fast bowlers whose bowling does all the talking! Get well soon Morne.

    As others pointed out, he is the one who paves the way for his colleagues to take wickets and of course, he takes some with real beauties himself.

    I think it's very harsh to say Steyn is ineffective without Morne. True the two along with Vernon form a very potent attack. It's the Indian batsmen's application and patience that stopped them today. We have seen dramatic collapses on both sides, so the match ain't over till it's over!

  • Iceman29 on December 20, 2013, 18:05 GMT

    great bowler...It is he who is bowling damaging spells for SA not the others..get well soon..

  • mrmonty on December 20, 2013, 18:00 GMT

    Hope he gets better in time for Durban, will test the Indian batters some more (not that they have been found wanting).

  • amitpat79 on December 20, 2013, 17:47 GMT

    Injury is part of the game . someone else will have to pick up slack ... and move on

  • V.Jammy on December 20, 2013, 17:47 GMT

    Morkel's injury was a pity but it has showed everyone a big reality that Steyn is pretty ineffective without him. And all Indian bowlers become pretty effective when Zaheer is back in the team.

  • on December 20, 2013, 17:40 GMT

    It is a team work. Pace bowlers hunt in pack. Steyn is inefficient without morkel. Mcgrath was inefficient without lee. Waqar was teethless without wasim. And beleive it or not, zaheer and ishanth also share a similar bond.

  • Kappa69 on December 20, 2013, 17:34 GMT

    Big big blow for SA. Chasing 350+ is no way possible. Draw is the only thing they can do to survive Proteaforlife#

  • pull_shot on December 20, 2013, 17:21 GMT

    He landed so awkward on knee, get well soon

  • Sanjayfuloria on December 20, 2013, 17:20 GMT

    He was indeed bowling beautifully. Rather unfortunate that he can't contribute in this test and possibly in the next. Would have liked to see him play . If India had piled on the agony in his presence, it would have been much better.

  • on December 20, 2013, 17:10 GMT

    bring Beuran Hendricks, left arm fast medium,very good bowler and will bring necessary variation in the team. Tahir is a total waste against India and so will be against Aussies. They may try Harmer against Ozs but bring mclaren in 2nd test so they have allrounder who will do well against Ind. Drop Faf immediately he is a totally out of form and doesn't deserve a spot. Bring Tsolekile in place of Faf so they will get a specialist keeper.

  • YogifromNY on December 20, 2013, 17:10 GMT

    As an ardent India fan, I feel sorry this injury happened. It is great to see Morkel bowl and it is a big loss for cricket, not just SA. Hope he recovers fast and can play soon. Oh, how I wish this was at least a three-test series!

  • byc89 on December 20, 2013, 16:49 GMT

    SA team would have thanked their stars today that despite Morkel being injured there was Kallis who could perform (almost) like the Morkel. Though i do not wish it to happen but suppose if any 1 Indian pacer gets injured tomorrow, then India will have only 2 bowlers.

  • Sudhir65 on December 20, 2013, 16:45 GMT

    Yes, he was the best bowler in 1st innings and India are extremely lucky not have to face Morkel in the 2nd innings. Perhaps India needed some kind of luck to win abroad after a long time as our nation's pride has been badly hurt by 0-8 drubbing in Eng and Aus. All Indians' prayers have been answered. That said, I wish Mr. Morkel recover very soon and we hope to see him with Delhi Daredevils come April.

  • TommytuckerSaffa on December 20, 2013, 16:09 GMT

    Game Over for SA. We lost Morkel after only 2 overs in his spell. Please let the Gods be kind and DONT select Kleinveld as his replacement for the 2nd Test.

  • gsingh7 on December 20, 2013, 16:01 GMT

    very unfortunate tear. now see if sa have enough quality back ups to challenge quality indian batting lineup. i dont think they cud save a single tests as bowling departmentr seems poor and batsmen are getting out to indian bowlers who bowled better than sa. we have to wait and watch i guess.

  • Haz95 on December 20, 2013, 15:39 GMT

    Unfortunate, extremely...Steyn has been poor as opposed to what his blistering stats say. Come on Philander, Come on Steyn....We can already see the damage of Pujara.

  • on December 20, 2013, 15:24 GMT

    Mitchell Johnson had a similar fall and thankfully escaped serious injury on the last day of the Perth test. Given that fast bowlers are a rapidly vanishing breed, not sure why they are exempted from diving and somersaulting on the boundary edges. One would reckon that a few runs saved hardly matter considering the loss of firepower that the Saffers are now facing..

  • jimbond on December 20, 2013, 15:21 GMT

    I guess the best that SA can hope for in this match is a draw. In the next match, Morkel's absence can be compensated to a large extent if Tsosobe comes in for Morkel, and Mclaren replaces Tahir.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on December 20, 2013, 15:19 GMT

    Sorry to hear this. But good to know that it is just a grade one sprain. Get well soon Morkel and wish you a complete recovery.

  • aiksa on December 20, 2013, 14:07 GMT

    I think it is India's game already. They fought back with great courage and conviction and it seems SA were a little complacent thinking their bowling was going to be too strong for India. But Indian batsmen showed great application and patience and their bowlers too came good after a long time. Indian team is now looking really good to win this match and probably the series as well.

  • A.Ak on December 20, 2013, 14:01 GMT

    Very unfortunate thing to happen for any sportsman. Hope he is alright. India should sense an opportunity to setup a match winning target.

  • on December 20, 2013, 11:50 GMT

    If he stays out then it is India match to lose. Sooner or later other bowlers get tired and Indians could make hay... I reckon 250-300 could easily be on cards and that would be too much for team batting last on this pitch.

  • on December 20, 2013, 11:50 GMT

    If he stays out then it is India match to lose. Sooner or later other bowlers get tired and Indians could make hay... I reckon 250-300 could easily be on cards and that would be too much for team batting last on this pitch.

  • A.Ak on December 20, 2013, 14:01 GMT

    Very unfortunate thing to happen for any sportsman. Hope he is alright. India should sense an opportunity to setup a match winning target.

  • aiksa on December 20, 2013, 14:07 GMT

    I think it is India's game already. They fought back with great courage and conviction and it seems SA were a little complacent thinking their bowling was going to be too strong for India. But Indian batsmen showed great application and patience and their bowlers too came good after a long time. Indian team is now looking really good to win this match and probably the series as well.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on December 20, 2013, 15:19 GMT

    Sorry to hear this. But good to know that it is just a grade one sprain. Get well soon Morkel and wish you a complete recovery.

  • jimbond on December 20, 2013, 15:21 GMT

    I guess the best that SA can hope for in this match is a draw. In the next match, Morkel's absence can be compensated to a large extent if Tsosobe comes in for Morkel, and Mclaren replaces Tahir.

  • on December 20, 2013, 15:24 GMT

    Mitchell Johnson had a similar fall and thankfully escaped serious injury on the last day of the Perth test. Given that fast bowlers are a rapidly vanishing breed, not sure why they are exempted from diving and somersaulting on the boundary edges. One would reckon that a few runs saved hardly matter considering the loss of firepower that the Saffers are now facing..

  • Haz95 on December 20, 2013, 15:39 GMT

    Unfortunate, extremely...Steyn has been poor as opposed to what his blistering stats say. Come on Philander, Come on Steyn....We can already see the damage of Pujara.

  • gsingh7 on December 20, 2013, 16:01 GMT

    very unfortunate tear. now see if sa have enough quality back ups to challenge quality indian batting lineup. i dont think they cud save a single tests as bowling departmentr seems poor and batsmen are getting out to indian bowlers who bowled better than sa. we have to wait and watch i guess.

  • TommytuckerSaffa on December 20, 2013, 16:09 GMT

    Game Over for SA. We lost Morkel after only 2 overs in his spell. Please let the Gods be kind and DONT select Kleinveld as his replacement for the 2nd Test.

  • Sudhir65 on December 20, 2013, 16:45 GMT

    Yes, he was the best bowler in 1st innings and India are extremely lucky not have to face Morkel in the 2nd innings. Perhaps India needed some kind of luck to win abroad after a long time as our nation's pride has been badly hurt by 0-8 drubbing in Eng and Aus. All Indians' prayers have been answered. That said, I wish Mr. Morkel recover very soon and we hope to see him with Delhi Daredevils come April.