Pace bowler Morkel ready to spice it up for India

Durban: South African fast bowler Morne Morkel has said that he is looking forward to spicing it up for India’s star-studded batting line-up on his home ground when the first Test starts at Centurion on Thursday.

Morkel said he and new ball partner Dale Steyn had both played most of their first-class cricket at the SuperSport Park ground.

"Dale learnt his trade here and it is going to be special to be bowling with him on our home ground," a website quoted Morkel, as saying, while adding that the South Africans had huge respect for India’s batsmen.

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

He also said the involvement of former South African batsman Gary Kirsten as India’s coach was a big benefit for the tourists.

"He’s got all the insights in 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," Morkel said.

But he warned that it would still be much tougher for India’s batsmen than when they played at home.

"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 said.

Midlle-order batsman Ashwell Prince said the South Africans respected the Indian bowling unit.

"Their fast bowlers normally do very well in the sub-continent, which doesn’t support fast bowling, so we expect them to do well in conditions that help them," Prince said.

He said off-spinner Harbhajan Singh was likely to take encouragement from the fact that England’s Graeme Swann had done well in a series in South Africa last season.