Cape Town - Morné Morkel captured 2-20 for the Kolkota Knight Riders against the table-topping Kings XI Punjab in the IPL to partially erase the heart-breaking memory of being dropped from the South African T20-team in the T20 Cricket World Cup in March, but Ray Jennings, a former Proteas coach, warned that the lanky fast bowler needs more backing from the South African team environment if he is to return to top-form.
The supersport.com website reports that Morkel bowled with enormous pace and proved that the two belligerent power hitters of Punjab, Glenn Maxwell and David Miller, were mere mortals.
The Knight Riders coasted to a 9-wicket win against the team at the summit of the table.
"I think Morné can become the world’s No 1 bowler.
"But at the moment he needs the backing of the system, of the environment," said Jennings.
"He also needs a bit of help in the packaging of overs.
"But he has got a unique gift – pace and bounce.
"Nobody in the world can match him in terms of that pace and bounce.
"He complements Dale Steyn well.
"Right now, there might be a bit of anxiety in Morné’s mind.
"When he is bowling a bouncer, it is not with 100 % commitment."
He needs reassurance that he is a world-class player, but there must also some support on his packaging of overs, added Jennings.
In the match against New Zealand in the T20 Cricket World Cup where Morkel was smashed for 50 in three overs, courtesy of especially Ross Taylor, Morkel tended to bowl on a length which suited Taylor well.
"Ross loves to hit full length deliveries off his hip for boundaries," said Jennings.
"He needed to have been sit down after the match and mentored about a better packaging of his overs.
"I would not have dropped Morkel from the T20-team," he added.
Jennings said he believed Morkel could take over as the leading SA bowler within the next few years when Steyn reaches the stage where he might be considering retirement.
But that will not happen if there are continuous talk of dropping Morkel, he added.