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IPL 2014: Morne Morkel needs to maintain consistency as spearhead Kolkata Knight Riders’ pace attack

Morne Morkel has been wayward during IPL 7 © PTI
Morne Morkel has been wayward during IPL 7 © PTI

Kolkata Knight Riders’ fast bowler, Morne Morkel has struggled a bit for consistency in Indian Premier League 2014. Bharath Ramaraj wonders whether Morkel is slightly low on confidence.

Morne Morkel, the giant from South Africa, comes across as someone who belongs to the imaginary land of Brobdingnag. On his day, he can send batsmen quivering for cover by generating scorching pace and bounce — undoubtedly a deadly combination in any form of the game.

However, in Indian Premier League (IPL) 7, we have seen Morkel struggling for consistency. Now, that is a sharp contrast to the Morkel that we saw during IPL 2012. In that season, he passed the litmus test of bowling on flat decks in the shortest format of the game with flying colours to end up with 25 wickets to his name.

In Kolkata’s last game against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), Morkel did get awkward bounce even from a good length on a flat deck. However, he lost his radar and struggled for control. Morkel is one of those bowlers that remind you of former England quick, Steven Harmison. When everything is going his way, Morkel is a fearsome bowler to face. With a high arm action, it may seem for the batsman like the ball is delivered from the clouds. He hits the slice of the bat hard and can bowl with an extra burst of pace. However — just like Harmison — when he is down on confidence, he loses the plot rather quickly.

Morkel, when he is riding high on the back of bowling brilliant spells has the ability to bowl from around the wicket to left-handed batsmen and tuck them up for room. In the game against Hyderabad, while bowling to Shikhar Dhawan, he didn’t try his favoured around the wicket tactic. It was perhaps an indication that he is slightly low on confidence and is struggling for rhythm. It isn’t like Morkel has been poor in IPL 7, as he has taken nine wickets in the tournament. But one expects more from the spearhead of the pace attack.

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) signed Morne Morkel with a genuine hope that he will prove to be the firebrand fast bowler who can snare wickets early in the piece.  Unfortunately for them, he has only fired in fits and starts. It is high time that he steps up to the plats and comes to the party during the business end of IPL 7.

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(Bharath Ramaraj, an MBA in marketing, eats, drinks and sleeps cricket. He has played at school and college-level, and now channelises his passion for the game by writing about it)

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