The Proteas’ bowling unit knows that achieving victory against Australia will require some hard yards, as they prepare for the second Test match starting in Adelaide on Thursday. Morne Morkel was the top wicket-taker with three for 127 in the drawn first Test, and believes the bowlers are prepared to adapt to the challenge and the unfamiliar conditions at the Adelaide Oval.
“The wicket at the Gabba was a good cricket wicket, you needed to work hard to get the results,” Morkel said. “As a fast bowler you understand it and that is the sort of thing you prepare yourself for mentally.
“I played a one-day game on our last tour, it’s my first Test match here and there is a lot of talk about the ground and the wicket. For me, it's important to listen to those things and to try and learn from them but also to experience those things for myself. As soon as you get caught up in different stories, you could go down the wrong avenue.”
The bowling unit has been touted as one of the best in the world, and they will be hoping for a marked improvement to give credence to their reputation. The no-ball issue is a discipline the bowlers are working hard on and hoping to wipe out after two front-foot no-balls accounted for wickets at the Gabba.
It’s a bitter pill to swallow,” Morkel said on striking off a no-ball. “Especially because we know the quality of the batsmen at this level, you don’t want to give them that extra chance. I think it is a matter of getting over it and trying to get on with the job. As a fast bowler I back myself, if I can get him out once I can get him out again.”
Having been a consistent member of the line up for many years and with 153 wickets to show, Morkel knows all too well what has helped the Proteas to get to the top of world cricket and what is needed to remain there.
“We know what to do to lift our game,” he said. “Over the next three days our intensity at training is going to be of a high quality. This is a very important tour for us and we are looking forward to the challenge. The number one spot is crucial, so we are not going to let it go that easily.”