Morkel turns up the heat on Indians

Centurion: South African fast bowler Morne Morkel feels that despite having Gary Kirsten as coach and the experience of playing in the IPL and Champions League in these conditions, the Indian players would not have it easy during the three-match Test series beginning Thursday.

"It`s a contest we are looking forward to. We all know that on South African wickets the ball tends to bounce a little bit longer where in India we only have five overs or so (to strike) with the new ball," Morkel siad.

The SuperSport Park at Centurion, compared to other South African pitches, hasn`t been that helpful to fast bowlers in recent years but Morkel cited this season`s match between Titans and Warriors.

"We asked for a nice quick wicket and we bowled out the Warriors for 70. The pace and bounce was very good for the first three days but later it became a good deck," he said.

While praising the famed Indian batting line-up, Morkel said he was looking forward to bowling to the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag on a ground where his strike partner Dale Steyn plied his trade.

"Dale learnt his trade here and it is going to be special to be bowling with him on our home ground," Morkel said.

Morkel said the South Africans had huge respect for India openers Gambhir and Sehwag who form a "very dangerous" combination.

"Not long ago Gautam was the number one batsman in the world and we all know how destructive Virender can be against the new ball," he said.

Morkel acknowledged that most of the top Indians had become accustomed to playing in South African conditions thanks to their involvement in Indian Premier League and Champions League here.

He also said that the involvement of former South Africa opener Kirsten as India`s coach makes a huge difference.

"He`s got all the insights about how to play on South African wickets and Gary being with them preparing for the past week will have been a great help for them."


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