Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The hype surrounding Morne Morkel

I have never understood the hype surrounding Morne Morkel. Yes, he is tall, gets bounce and has pace but he isn't consistent enough and bowls too short.

I remember the hype surrounding him when SA were about to tour Australia in 08/09 and he didn't do well. He again failed against Australia and this time at home as Phil Hughes made merry against some wayward bowling from Morkel. Everyone knows that Phil Hughes mainly looks for room but Morkel continued to feed him to his strengths by bowling short and wide.

In the series against England he succeeded at Johannesburg but his bowling is suited to wickets that have pace and bounce. So it wasn't a huge surprise that he destroyed England on a pacy wicket.

As far as the series against India is concerned I found it amazing that many people thought he would succeed in India. He bowls the traditional three quarter length instead of bowling full. In subcontinent one has to bowl a lot fuller and Morkel doesn't do it. I know that most people think that Jimmy Anderson is no good when it stops swinging but even he has done better than Morkel in India. It does show that Morel perhaps is overrated. Occasionally Morkel has looked threatening in India but he just bowls too short to succeed.

He would be very good on pitches that have pace and bounce but I don't see how can he succeed on wickets that are unresponsive to the quicker bowlers.


Josh said...

He's still relatively inexperienced, perhaps he'll learn to vary his lengths a bit more. I thought Jimmy adapted his bowling well in the Windies last year, absolutely dead pitches but he bowled cleverely and still created pressure, there's still time for Morkel to develop that skill. Plus he's 90mph plus regularly, which is a bonus!!

greyblazer said...


Yeah he can still learn but I just couldn't understand the hype before this series. It seemed like he has already taken lots of wickets. Steyn is a superb bowler but Morkel still has a long way to go.

Anyway thanks for your comment.

Purna said...

Nobody expected him to do well in India. Nobody even expected Dale to do well. What you saw happen yesterday is pretty much what we thought would happen. I don't think Morkel is over-rated. He is just inexperienced like Josh said.

greyblazer said...


Good to see your comments on the blog. I do visit some cricket forums but interestingly I found many posting that Morkel would succeed even in India as he gets bounce. So I got the impression that people do rate him highly.

Maybe I shouldn't visit cricket forums lol!

SportbloggerAdi said...

GB, i don't know about others, however i had an opinion that Morkel would not be effective in India. I had great hopes on Dale and he has struck again like the White Lightning. Morkel has to pitch it up on Indian wickets, doing which he would still be ineffective as he lacks swing. The ideal length to which he can adapt qucikly and be effective is good length. IMO the bounce which he would get from good length will be tough to tackle and he will be more effective than bowling full pitch or short. But i don't think he has control that he can pitch in good length consistently.

greyblazer said...

Yeah taller bowlers like McGrath and Ambrose have succeeded on unhelpful tracks by mainly bowling at a good length spot but to get wickets a tall quick too has to mix it up by bowling a touch fuller to induce the edge otherwise he may just beat the bat. So he has to bowl the odd delivery a touch fuller.

For instance McGrath in 04 bowled mainly on a good length spot to S'wag but he mixed it up by occasionally bowling it a touch fuller and that got him the wicket of S'wag and he troubled S'wag a lot in that series. On the other hand Freddie would usually hit the good length spot but rarely mixed it up by bowling a touch fuller and IMO he missed out on at least 50 more wickets. The one time he tried it at Lords he got a 5 wicket haul.

Of course swing bowlers like Steyn, Zaheer, Hoggy, Anderson and co. would mainly look to bowl full as they can swing it.

Anonymous said...

Freddy never varied his bowling enough which was a mystery as he was as skillful a bowler as you would want when he thought about it.

Morne is still riding on his potential but he has been around for long enough to start producing more.

greyblazer said...

Yeah Morkel has played 23 tests so it is high time that he becomes more consistent otherwise he would be known as a bowler who can bowl well only on certain tracks and occasionally perform well on flat tracks against weak teams like Bangladesh.

stroller trying again said...

It is an old story. To succeed in India fast bowlers have to be accurate - I don't think anyone has ever accused Morne of startling accuracy, or to pitch it up and swing it, which he doesn't.

As it is at the moment, if there is any bounce to be exploited Morne is your man. World-beater, as it stands, no. Accuracy may come or not for him in the future; he is still one of SA's best bowlers.