I enjoy high pressure situations, says Albie

Albie Morkel, one of the fierce hitters of the cricket ball and a more than handy paceman, can sleepwalk into any country’s national T20 squad but his place in the South African set-up  has been a bit uncertain. The all-rounder, who is the only foreign player to be retained by Chennai Super Kings in the IPL, spoke about his role and injuries.

Excerpts:

Update us on your injury...

I need a rehab as long as I need a proper operation, that’s the only thing that’s going to fix it. I’ve got a posterior impingement (on left ankle). It’s a normal fast-bowler injury, in my case a medium fast bowler’s injury. But it’s going well at the moment, I’m pain free. I am just strapping it to keep it safe, nothing to worry about it.

What’s your role in the team?

I am sort of a floater for different situations. In a long time we have got a set T20 team as well where guys have certain roles. My role is when we are batting, give a kick when we need it and in bowling department, you know I’ve been bowling in different situations. I am also enjoying that role at the moment. That sort of big guns coming hard (at you), I like to take them on as well. Actually, that’s really in 50-over games where you want specific roles. T20 cricket is fine because the impact you make could be in two or three balls; it doesn’t have to be 30 or 40 balls.

How is it like walking in with 10 balls left and needing lots to score?

Yeah, obviously (you will feel) a bit nervous. If you try and simulate that in training, I know you can’t really train the same as in matches and with teams, but you ask the net bowlers and set target of 10 off six and then try to get there. And when you get there it’s obviously very satisfying, and when you don’t, you know you have given your best. I enjoy that, it’s a high-pressure situation and your success rate is probably five on a 10 or maybe lower. But to make an impact in a game, especially in a T20 game, if you score 16 or 17 off five balls, in the context of the game that’s a major impact.

Does playing in the IPL help you perform better against India?

It helps. I think the IPL has brought international cricket in terms of players knowing each other and closer together. Obviously,  they know I am in their change-room and now that I’m going to speak to the South Africans about them, they also change their game plans.

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