Johannesburg - If Chris Morris has “half a decent season” in 2014/15 he will get back into the national team, is Geoffrey Toyana’s prediction for his bowling spearhead and all-rounder after a long injury lay-off.
Morris underwent an ankle operation and has returned to training in the off-season.
“I’m 95% to where I should be,” said Morris.
Toyana, coach of the bizhub Highveld Lions, expects Morris to be ready for the Momentum eKasi Challenge on August 22 in Soweto between the Lions and Titans.
“We had a disappointing 2013-2014-season, and the batsmen of the other franchises basically took us to the cleaners,” said Morris about his own form last season.
“My batting was a big disappointment.
“My bowling dropped to a 'rat's pace - from 145km/h to 135km/h - due to the ankle niggles,” said Morris.
When Morris is as the peak of his powers, he is arguably just one of four South African bowlers who can operate at 148-150km/h, with Marchant de Lange, Dale Steyn and Morné Morkel.
Toyana says Morris is his bowling spearhead and a strike bowler.
He takes the new ball and attempts to strike early, yet, last season some bad habits crept in, as Morris tried too hard to strike as regularly as possible, and also conceded some runs in the 50-over game.
“Consistency was also a factor. We are working hard at rectifying those habits,” said Toyana.
The Lions coach is adamant that Morris has the package and the skills-set to represent South Africa with a more than decent average with the bat (31.89 in 35 first-class games and 108 wickets).
His career-best bowling performance of 12 for 101 is an indication of his strike-power.
Morris represented South Africa in five One Day Internationals and two T20-matches.
Toyana believes Morris is still “a baby” at first-class level, but even if he has “half a decent” season, he will get back into the national team.