Daily Maverick (Johannesburg)

South Africa: Morne Morkel, South Africa's Underrated Gem

analysis

Morne Morkel doesn't exactly pick up buckets of wickets, but his value to the South African side cannot be underestimated. His ability to keep things tight and put pressure on the opposition has been the cornerstone of the team's success. While South Africa's legacy as a Test team will continue to blossom, the individuals who craft it should not be forgotten.

When South Africa's bowling attack is mentioned, the first two names that spring to mind are Vernon Philander and Dale Steyn - and so they should. They are ranked number one and two respectively in the bowling rankings and have formed a lethal new-ball pairing that has the ability to take 20 wickets even on flat decks. One player who isn't often mentioned, though, is Morne Morkel.

Perhaps that is because the lanky right-armer isn't exactly the usual fast bowler. He might be tall and during the second Test against India, he had Allan Donald-like zinc smeared across his face, but he rarely gets overly aggressive and in batsmen's faces. He also doesn't have the wealth of wickets his teammates have, although 183 sticks in 53 matches is nothing to be scoffed at. Yet, since Philander's...

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