The Castle Lager Proteas bowlers put behind them a luke-warm performance on Friday to “step-up” in their three-wicket win over Australia at the WACA in Perth on Sunday. Morne Morkel says it was important for the bowlers to adjust their lengths accordingly to the nippier WACA wicket, and to strike early upfront against Australia’s big-hitters.
“The bowling unit had a bit of a break before this series, and although we had nets, the lack of time in the middle and finding rhythm probably showed on Friday,” Morkel, who took career-best figures of 5/21 admitted after the match. “The wicket was a little bit quicker today which helped us when we found our strides and rhythm. We bowled well in partnerships and with good intensity, being a bowler light today made it important for us to step up.”
The big wickets of David Warner, Aaron Finch and Shane Watson in the opening 10 overs set the tone, with part-timer, Farhaan Behardien, putting in a tidy performance coupled with the wicket of the dangerous Watson.
“It’s always important for us to strike up front in those first 10 overs of the Power Play,” Morkel said. “With Australia being batting heaving and quite attacking upfront it was key for us to hit those margins which are very small at the WACA.
“Compliments to Farhaan (Behardien) who came in today as the fifth bowler,” he added. “He did a great job.”
“I think they bat quite low down, even Nathan (Coulter-Nile) at number 10 can be a dangerous player,” Morkel said. “They are high quality attacking players and if you aren’t on the money they will make you pay. Luckily for us today we got the ball in the right areas and got the early wickets, that’s the most important thing in any one-day game.”
The Proteas tried a different option with Morkel and Philander taking the new ball, a strategy aimed at testing different options ahead of the World Cup.
“The most important thing about this tour is that we are working toward the World Cup,” Morkel said. “We are trying different things, on the day a guy like Dale or Vernon might have the flu or some illness and I will need to be able to step up, it’s a role that I enjoy doing as well. I got the opportunity to go with the new ball today and I’m happy that I bowled well.”