Chris Morris has justified his R33m price tag, says Dan Vettori
CAPE TOWN - Legendary New Zealand all-rounder Dan Vettori believes Chris Morris has "justified" his record price tag in the Indian Premier League.
Former Proteas all-rounder Morris was purchased for R33 million ($2.25m) by the Rajasthan Royals prior to this season's IPL.
The 33-year-old played a pivotal role in the Royals picking up their first win of the season on Thursday when he smashed 36 not out off just 18 balls to take his team home with two balls to spare against the Delhi Daredevils. Morris clubbed four sixes in his innings to achieve a strike-rate of 200.
It was a particularly special knock as the Royals had slumped to 107/4 after the dismissal of fellow South African David Miller (62 off 43 balls) in pursuit of Delhi's 147/8. Morris had also earlier claimed 1/27 with the ball.
"I think sometimes we confuse the auction price with 100s and five-wicket bags because someone like Chris Morris has been bought for an innings like this. He has been bought to bowl at the death and take wickets with the new ball," Vettori said on Cricinfo's T20 Timeout show.
"I think this justifies the expectations around him in terms of being able to close out games in a really tense situation. Thirty odd off 17 balls (36* off 18) in this pressure when there is really nobody else batting with him justifies in a lot of ways the faith that many franchises have had in him."
Former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan concurred with Vettori.
"He (Morris) took the responsibility and showed that the money (paid for him) at the auction was worth it. That's exactly why Rajasthan Royals bought him. Not only for his bowling with the new ball and at the death, but also to finish games for them with the bat," Pathan said.
Morris' performance would certainly have pleased the Rajasthan Royals owners after England's star all-rounder Ben Stokes was ruled out of the competition through injury earlier this week.
Big hits 💪— IndianPremierLeague (@IPL) April 16, 2021
Late cameo 👏
Thrilling finish 👍
Fun on the mic with @rajasthanroyals' Wankhede batting heroes - @DavidMillerSA12 & @Tipo_Morris.😎 😎 By @NishadPaiVaidya #VIVOIPL #RRvDC @Vivo_India
Watch the full interview 🎥![CDATA]>👇https://t.co/lZcyY0S9Oi pic.twitter.com/OCiSZtru7B
Furthermore, Morris would also have taken plenty of confidence from the innings after his captain Sanju Samson controversially turned down a single to put the South African on strike for the final ball of the previous match.
Samson, who was on 119 at the time, sent Morris back with the Royals requiring five runs off the final two deliveries. He ultimately could not find the boundary off the last ball and Royals lost their opening game.