Proteas ready for death overs
Cape Town - Proteas fast bowler Morné Morkel believes they are ready for the challenge of bowling at the "death" in their upcoming T20 and One Day international (ODI) series' against Australia.
The Proteas play their first T20 against the Aussies at Newlands on Thursday.
Bowling at the back-end of innings' has long been an Achilles heel for the South Africans. Die Burger reports that Charl Langeveldt, Jacques Kallis and Dale Steyn have performed this role with mixed fortunes in the past, but consistency has been a problem.
Steyn also struggled with his death bowling for the Cape Cobras in the recent Champions League T20 in India.
The Warriors' Rusty Theron is the one T20 specialist in the squad and could be called upon to fulfil the role with Morkel on Thursday. Theron has only been picked for the T20 series, so Steyn would probably be expected to slot back into this role during the ODI's.
But Morkel believes they are ready for the challenge and also says the responsibility (of bowling at the tail end of the innings) won't lie with just two bowlers in future.
"All the bowlers in one-day cricket need to prepare themselves to bowl at the death," Morkel told Die Burger.
"We have worked hard on our skills and we have practiced bowling with a new and older ball.
"We are all ready to bowl at the end and the captain will decide whom he wants to use."
With Theron expected to partner Morkel, Lonwabo Tsotsobe and Wayne Parnell would probably need to fight it out for a spot in the starting XI.
The South Africans are also expected to include two spinners in Johan Botha and Robin Peterson. Both are all-rounders and their versatility makes them key cogs for the limited over formats.
They have also in the past been successful at "death bowling", and might be called upon by captain Hashim Amla against the Aussies.