Morkel mulls Proteas return

2014-08-12 14:47
Albie Morkel (Gallo Images)

Pretoria - Titans all-rounder Albie Morkel says he has not ruled out being recalled to the Proteas One Day side ahead of the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand starting in February.

"There's always ambitions, but it's not a goal. I'm not going to put myself under pressure," Morkel said in Centurion on Tuesday, where the Titans launched their new away kit for the season.

Morkel was recalled to the Proteas side for the T20 World Cup in Bangladesh earlier this year.

Labelled a finisher, he was shifted up and down the batting order and ended up facing just 26 balls in the tournament, where South Africa lost to India in the semi-final.

His recall ended an 18-month absence from international cricket. The 33-year-old had little form coming into the event but, this time around, Morkel had time on his side.

Ahead of the 50-over World Cup, Morkel would have a chance to play himself into form with the Titans in the domestic One-Day Cup, starting in October.

"I'll play in the 50-over format and, if I do well, it will be fantastic.

If it (getting selected for the Proteas) doesn't happen, then it doesn't happen."

Morkel played little cricket in the off-season, opting not to go overseas for the first time in five years, where he played English county cricket, in a bid to keep his body and mind fresh.

"I haven't played for a while, I took the winter off. I'm feeling refreshed mentally, and physically I'm over my niggles."

Morkel last turned out for the Proteas in One Day International (ODI) cricket against New Zealand in Auckland in 2012.

Whether selected or not, Morkel believed the Proteas would do well at the upcoming World Cup.

"I think our chances are very good in the World Cup. We've got a fantastic one day side. They've played some good cricket in the subcontinent where it's always been a difficult area for them to perform," Morkel said, referring to the Proteas' 2-1 ODI series win over Sri Lanka last month.

"The World Cup is in Australia and New Zealand and those conditions will suit us perfectly."

The Proteas had struggled in ICC knockout tournaments since they won the Champions Trophy in 1998, and a change in fortune could be around the corner according to Morkel.

"I always feel you need a bit of luck. There's no time to recover if you lose a game.

"South Africa has always played well until you lose one game somewhere along the line."

The experienced players in the side would have to perform when it counted, he said.

"It's going to be a case of the guys being in form. There's no shortage of experience -- we've got some world-class players.

"In that two or three week period you need your players to be in form --that's going to be the key for us. The big players like AB de Villiers, Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, JP Duminy and Faf du Plessis are going to have to fire."

Read more on:    albie morkel  |  cricket

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