Port Elizabeth – Proteas fast bowler Morne Morkel believes his team will relish the challenge of coming from one down in the series, in the second Test against Australia starting on Thursday.
The hosts fell to a crushing defeat in the first of the three match Test series in Centurion on Saturday, and are now tasked with responding without much time between games.
“We're the number one team in the world, and it's important for us at 1-0 down to stand up and react to what happened over the weekend,” Morkel said on Tuesday.
A different type of pitch is expected for the Test at St George's Park in Port Elizabeth.
“On our home ground here in PE, we're looking forward to it, but it's going to be tough,” Morkel said.
“We know what to expect now.”
While Morkel would not be drawn into admitting if there was extra pressure on the Proteas, he said their focus would be divided into much smaller increments.
“We need to focus on playing each ball, and bowling each ball,” he said.
“We also really need to look after our partnerships. As soon we start thinking about losing or drawing ... it's not an option.
“We need to break down each session.”
The bowler pointed to the success of the Proteas over the last few years, and said the team would not make radical changes in response to the heavy loss over the weekend.
“Maybe I'll play around with my lengths a bit, but our success over the last couple of years has been to play our brand of cricket and it's important to not change it now,” Morkel said.
“We need to stick to the gameplans that will get us 20 wickets.”
He said he was not concerned about the type of pitch the groundsman might produce.
“I would love a bouncy, quick wicket all the time. But you need to deal with those conditions on the day,” Morkel said.
“I don't want to play the game two days before because of too much information. I like to go in with a clear mind and go in on the day with the bowling unit, and decide what we'll do.”
Morkel would not say who would be the likely replacement for the injured Ryan McLaren, but backed whoever the selectors went for in the number seven batting role.
“Dean is like a staffie, he's as tough as nails. If he gets the nod he'll be more than capable.” he said.
“Vern has played exceptionally well too, so that might be an option. Robbie is also there. So there are a couple options there.” – Sapa