Mornel Morkel was kept out for most of the tournament and played the final match against West Indies on Friday © Getty Images
From left to right (Albie Morkel, Morne Morkel and AB de Villiers) © Getty Images

In the recently concluded West Indies Tri-Nation Series, South Africa were ousted in a rather disappointing fashion as they were knocked by the hosts for 100-runs. Knowing the way South Africa were unable to make it to the final, the media aimed at senior player and skipper AB de Villiers along with their experienced player Morne Morkel for the loss against West Indies. But Morkel’s elder brother Albie Morkel came out in defence of these criticisms and backed his ODI skipper de Villiers and his younger brother. Albie mentioned that their superiority and records speak for themselves. Albie also added that de Villiers records since the time he turned to be ODI captain is a reflection of his ability to inspire others while leading from the front. FULL SCORECARD: West Indies vs South Africa, Tri-Nation Series 2016, Match 9 at Barbados

While speaking to supersport.com, Albie said “They are the best, plain and simple. Personally, looking from the sidelines, I don’t see a powerful enough unit. They lack that cohesion, that strong bond. There are some superb individual performances, but not enough great team efforts. It just seems as if everything right now is cast in uncertainty and that uncertainty affects their performances. I think ABD averages about 62 as a skipper.” De Villiers completed 200 ODI matches while playing the Tri-Nation Series and his teammates also made a special video for their all time skipper. In 87 matches as a captain, de Villiers has scored 4 219 runs and averages 65.92 at a strike-rate of 111.05. ALSO READ: South Africa players involved in match-fixing scandal might face lengthy bans

Albie further mentioned that singling out individuals for the team’s loss is not right and especially senior players like de Villiers and his brother is not the solution. The squad and management team as a whole might shoulder the blame, but not individuals who have excelled like De Villiers and the lanky Morne, he emphasised. With this loss, they have dropped down on their ODI rankings from third to fourth. They already faced downfall in Test rankings after their loss against India by 3-0. With the exception of the sensational Imran Tahir and Kagiso Rabada, Morne has arguably been South Africa’s most dependable servant with the ball in ODIs the past three years.

His record of 181 wickets in 108 matches at an average of 24.60 is a testimony to his fine performances. At the 2015 Cricket World Cup, Morne removed 17 batsmen at an average of 17.58 and was South Africa’s leading wicket-taker. Yet, both Morkel and De Villiers were below par in the Caribbean in the triangular series, where De Villiers averaged 24.20. Morne was left pout for most of the matches in the tournament and the only match he played on Friday he ended with 1-68 in nine expensive overs.