Dark horses South Africa can beat England in T20 World Cup, says Morne Morkel
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Dubai - Former Proteas fast bowler Morne Morkel believes the Sharjah pitch will give South Africa the edge in their must-win T20 World Cup clash against England on Saturday.
The surface at the Sharjah International Stadium has radically transformed from a previously batter-friendly venue to a ground that now produces low-scoring thrillers.
Morkel believes the composition of the Proteas attack is well-suited to maximize the conditions with spin twins Tabraiz Shamsi and Keshav Maharaj along with the seamers Anrich Nortje, Kagiso Rabada and Dwaine Pretorius all having the skill-set to execute in Sharjah.
"The bowling attack is certainly the Proteas’ strength and I believe they can bowl us into the semi-finals," Morkel said in his column for ICC.com.
"If South Africa’s top bowlers can fire, they can really rattle the England top order. The Sharjah wicket will suit the Proteas and after winning a close game against Sri Lanka they will have a good understanding of conditions. The battle of the spinners, the Adil Rashid vs Tabraiz Shamsi match-up, is one to watch."
Proteas captain Temba Bavuma also stated that his team took plenty of learnings from their victory over Sri Lanka in their previous match in Sharjah.
"I guess having played there, we really do know now. Like you said with the batting, we did take it quite deep, and I guess the learning from that is I guess maybe we'll have to pull the trigger a bit earlier, if I could say," Bavuma said.
Morkel, meanwhile, feels South Africa are the dark horses in the competition and despite the lack of star-studded names in their squad have the ability to defeat Eoin Morgan's blockbuster team.
"I feel that South Africa are flying under the radar this tournament. A lot of people said that without their household names in the XI they didn’t stand a chance," Morkel said.
"But they are quietly playing good cricket and have dangerous batters that will step up. The likes of Quinton de Kock, Rassie van der Dussen ,and just look at David Miller the other night against Sri Lanka, hitting two back-to-back sixes to win it. South Africa can beat England."