Morris played a knock of 82 off 32 balls against Gujarat Lions in the IPL 2016  © AFP
Morris played a knock of 82 off 32 balls against Gujarat Lions in the IPL 2016 © AFP

South African all-rounder, Chris Morris was one of the stars for the Delhi Daredevils team in IPL 2016. The tall, medium pacer known for his accuracy and magnificent economy rate, also made an impact with the bat by scoring 82 off just 32 balls for DD showing his big-hitting capabilities, in one of the matches. But, the 29-year old had fought through numerous injuries and missed some major tournaments before he could become a part of South Africa’s T20 World Cup team and also get picked by the Delhi Daredevils franchise for USD 1 million in the auctions. Morris in an interview revealed about his stint with the Delhi Daredevils in the just-finished IPL season, his Test ambitions and a lot more. But what surprises is the fact that he Googled the sum for which he was picked in the IPL auctions. ALSO READ: Chris Morris: I never wanted to quit cricket

When asked about the importance of the IPL, in a player’s career especially if he is working hard to get into the national team, Morris said – “IPL cricket is quite important. I wouldn’t say it helps you get into the international team because you don’t get selected for what you do in IPL. But it is very important. It’s the cricket that you learn (here) that is vital to your experiences in your future career. You learn a lot in India. As I keep saying, it is not just about what you learn at the crease, but also what you learn off the field here. I believe it doesn’t matter how much you’re being paid, it is always an opportunity to go and learn about what happens in India during the IPL. I think what you learn during IPL in India holds you in good stead for the future.”(As quoted by cricbuzz) ALSO READ: Chris Morris: Speed guns are bogus

Morris was bought by the Delhi Daredevils for 7 crore in the auctions and when asked about whether it is an added pressure to perform under expectations in the IPL, Morris said – “I wasn’t even aware, you know! I was preparing to go for a concert when the auctions were underway and I didn’t know. I was packing. I realized it quite late and put it on my phone, followed it for a bit and then kept it aside, went back to my work. I didn’t know when my name went under the hammer. And then all the messages started pouring in. My phone was buzzing constantly and that’s when it struck something big might have happened. I scrolled through and my first reaction, honestly, at seeing the price was, ‘7 crore? What’s a crore?’ I had to Google and that’s when I found out the sum I was being paid!”. ALSO READ: Chris Morris not eyeing records, says playing for South Africa important

He added – “Look, I’d be lying if I said it doesn’t. But then, if you look at it, there is always pressure when you play cricket in India, especially in IPL. It’s a world tournament and everyone is watching. A part of the price tag is the expectations of the fans. But I’ve always put myself under pressure to play cricket. For me, it doesn’t matter what I went for, but I always try and perform as well as I could. I try to perform to win a game of cricket for (my franchise) because that’s why I play this game in the first place – to win. Big price tag or not, I will still give everything I can for my team.”

Morris’ knock against Gujarat Lions (GL) in one of the matches of the IPL, had taken everyone by surprise but failed to take his team home. When asked about what his mindset was while going out to bat, he said – “It was quite simple what I needed to do. I needed to go out there and play attacking strokes. I talked to Rahul (Dravid), I said, “what do you reckon, do I go at it from ball one?’ He said ‘Attack!’ He said, ‘give yourself one or two (balls) maybe and then have a look and then have a go. Some 110-odd off 50 we required at the stage? So it wasn’t complicated, it was simple what was required of me. I had to go out there and play aggressive cricket and try and clear the boundary. Fortunately, it worked out for me that day.” ALSO READ: Chris Morris could be South Africa’s answer to all-rounder woes

Morris had made his way into the Test side in January, when South Africa hosted England. When asked about his stand on Test cricket he said – ” I don’t think you ever know where you stand. It was my dream to play Test cricket. I played cricket so that I can play the red-ball game. Look, South Africa have been top-three in the world for the last 15 years. So, you know, good luck to you if you can get into that side with the bowling attack we have had over the years. Look, I am a realist. I know that for me to get into that side, I am going to have to do extraordinary things. And that over the years I haven’t done extraordinary things, unfortunately. There was an injury at that time. When I got the opportunity, it was a tough opportunity but I got it. So I’ve got the taste of Test match cricket and I really, really want to carry on playing that.”

He added – “But I am realist. If you want to be the best, you got to be the best. If you got to play for the best, you got to be at your best. And South Africa are blessed with the kind of bowing unit we have at the moment. So, I’ve got to find other ways to get in there, unfortunately. If I don’t play another Test, I would feel I have missed out. But I am a realist. I’ll always give more, doesn’t matter where I am playing – domestic, club cricket – I’ll always give my best to my team.”