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South Africa don’t pay attention to Virat Kohli’s fierce celebrations: Morne Morkel

South African cricket team pacer Morne Morkel said they are not getting too worked up seeing Virat Kohli’s celebrations, that almost border on being inflammatory at times.

cricket Updated: Jan 16, 2018 12:26 IST
Somshuvra Laha
Somshuvra Laha
Hindustan Times, Centurion
Indian cricket team,South African cricket team,India vs South Africa
India's captain Virat Kohli raises his bat and helmet as he celebrates scoring a century during the third day of the second Test between South Africa and India at Centurion on January 15, 2018. (AFP)

Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli has been wearing his heart on his sleeve, fiercely celebrating every fall of wicket and even his own gutsy century but South African cricket team pacer Morne Morkel said they are not getting too worked up seeing his reactions that almost border on being inflammatory at times. (IND v SA highlights)

“Virat is very competitive. They are over here to compete and they’ve got a team that could potentially beat South Africa for the first time here. That’s his nature. It gets him going and keeps him going. We’re well aware of that but we don’t take any notice of it,” said Morkel after the end of day’s play on Monday. (IND v SA full scorecard)

Morkel credited Jasprit Bumrah, who took two wickets on Monday, for possessing the perfect action for a Centurion pitch he feels is very Indian in nature. “Bumrah has got the perfect action for this sort of wicket. He is very skiddy.”

“Talking to our batters and doing some preparation before the Test match, we’ve got our game plans. There’s a very fine line when you bowl to them of coming too straight,” said Morkel when asked why they weren’t trying a straighter line like Bumrah.

Having played all his life here, Morkel is surprised with the way the pitch has acted so far. “I’ve played cricket here all my life, and I’ve never seen a wicket like this at the SuperSport Park. It was really hard work. In the heat, with conditions really tough, it was right up there with one of the hardest spells I’ve bowled,” said Morkel, adding that lack of pace was the most frustrating thing about this Centurion pitch.

“You’ve got a small little window with the new ball. I think the first hour in the mornings, the reason might be because it’s under covers overnight, but in the first hour the balls seems a little bit quicker off the deck. But after that, there’s actually been no pace in the wicket. Especially from the pavilion end, I found it’s very tennis ball bouncy. So yeah, it’s important to come out with different sorts of gameplans,” he added.

Asked if he would compare the conditions as being quite close to bowling in India, Morkel agreed almost immediately. “100%. It’s unheard of that a spinner bowls that amount of overs on the first day. We even took the option to open in the over before lunch with a spinner (yesterday). There’s a very subcontinental feel to it. Tough scoring, tough to get people out. Luckily we’ve got some experience of that in the bank. But they are not the conditions that we want here in South Africa,” he said.

First Published: Jan 15, 2018 23:05 IST