South Africa to miss Morkel for decider: Amla
Mumbai : South Africa will most certainly miss the services of injured fast bowler Morne Morkel for the all-important fifth and final match of their ODI cricket series against India here tomorrow, said senior team member Hashim Amla today.
“I don’t think Morne is fit enough to play tomorrow. He bowled a bit in the nets and probably we will take the final call tomorrow, but I don’t think he will be fit,” Amla told reporters at the Wankhede Stadium.
Morkel picked up 4 for 39 with his superb death bowling in the third game of the series in Rajkot on October 18 despite bowling with a leg injury, but it prevented him from taking the field in the fourth match at Chennai, that India won by 35 runs to square the series 2-2.
Amla, also conceded that the absence of another injured player — all rounder Jean-Paul Duminy, who was ruled out of the final two ODIs after injuring his hand in Rajkot — did affect the balance of the side, but pointed out that no big series has been won by banking only on 11 players in a 15-strong squad.
“He has (Duminy) been an unbelievable and consistent performer for us over the last couple of years. He adds great balance to the team with his off spinners as well. It has changed things a bit in the team but that’s what you have a squad for. No big series is ever won on 11 players, you usually have about 15 players contributing at different times. This is one of those times.
“Having seven frontline batsmen has been a working formula for us. Absence of JP does change things. Going into tomorrow’s game I don’t know that the captain and coach will decide,” he explained.
He was a bit puzzled when asked what would be the key that will decide the game, while hinting the team which holds the nerves better could emerge triumphant.
Asked about the deciding clash at a venue where South Africa had lost all three earlier ODIs, Amla said he was not aware of the history and predicted an interesting contest.
“I didn’t know it I don’t think it will make any difference, honestly. It’s an important game regardless. It has been a very close and exciting One-Day series.
“If you look at the tour itself it has been nice to win 4 (including two T20 Internationals) out of 6. It’s been really good going from our side. Both teams have been extremely competitive in ODIs. Tomorrow will be an exciting game. Both teams have positives and things to work on.”