- South Africa
- Nick name
- Morne Morkel
- Batting style
- Left Hand Bat
- Bowling style
- Left Arm Fast
- Current Team
- Indian Premier League 2016
- October 6, 1984
A tall frame, high arm action, high release point, good pace and the ability to generate discerning bounce off the pitch makes Morne Morkel the quintessential fast bowler. Long before Morne had played for South Africa, pace legend Allan Donald had identified him as someone who would go on to play international cricket with distinction. He has troubled batsman all over with his disconcerting pace. The younger of the Morkel brothers, he was with the Rajasthan Royals in the first three seasons of the IPL, but was signed by the Delhi Daredevils at the IPL Player Auction 2011. He was the Delhi Daredevils’ leading wicket-taker in IPL 2011, and followed it up by winning a Purple cap in the IPL 2012 with 25 wickets. After playing for the Delhi franchise for one more year, Morkel was snapped up by KKR at the IPL Player Auction 2014. He has been a vital cog in the KKR pace battery. He picked up 10 wickets in the 2015 edition of the IPL.
An out-and-out fast bowler, Morne Morkel stands at 1.96 metres tall and his height allows him to generate steepling and awkward bounce. At the peak of his powers, he used a combination of speed – in the upper 140 kph range – and skill to form part of South Africa’s most potent pace pack.
Son of Albert and brother of Malan and Albie, all cricketers in their own right, Morkel is undoubtedly his family’s most successful sportsman. He has ranked in the ICC’s top 10 bowlers in the world in all formats at some stage of his career and was No. 1 in ODIs for a period in 2011.
Morkel cut his teeth at Easterns and rose to prominence in the 2006-07 season when he was picked for a Rest of South Africa side against the touring Indians. His 4 for 74 in Potchefstroom – a notoriously flat pitch – earned him a Test call-up and he made his debut in that series.
He spent 2007 trying to establish himself in international cricket and broke through in 2008. Morkel was the joint leading wicket-taker on South Africa’s tour of England and played a key part in their first series win there since readmission. He did not take the same form into 2009 and was dropped for the final Test in a home series against Australia.
Morkel honed his game and returned the next year, after Makhaya Ntini’s retirement, to share the new ball with Dale Steyn, and had great success. He took Test 49 wickets in 2010, his highest in a calendar year. The following year he had ODI success, taking 26 wickets at 17.65 in three series which included the World Cup.
His share of the spoils decreased after that, when South Africa added Vernon Philander to the Test pack and Morkel was moved to first-change. He was part of the South African side that dethroned England to claim the Test mace and contributed more than he received recognition for. Morkel was the top wicket-taker on the 2012 tour to Australia, where South Africa successfully defended the No. 1 ranking.
Morkel also enjoyed bragging rights over some of the world’s best batsmen. No bowler has dismissed Michael Hussey more times – eight – than Morkel and only Shane Warne had the better of Andrew Strauss as many times as Morkel – also eight.
The subcontinent was, expectedly, more challenging for Morkel but he showed skills development when he led the attack during the 2015 tour of India. In the absence of Steyn and Philander, both injured, Morkel conjured up a spell of reverse-swing in Nagpur that was among the only highlights for South Africa in a 3-0 series defeat.
With Test cricket a priority, Morkel’s ODI and T20 career was managed and he was kept out of several bilateral series while being brought back for major tournaments. He was South Africa’s leading wicket-taker in the 2015 World Cup.
Morkel was also the most successful fast bowler for Kolkata Knight Riders in the 2014 IPL, the second edition they won but he was overlooked for South Africa’s 2016 World T20 squad.
Indian Premier League 2016