Proteas looking for '60%' from injured quicks

2018-04-03 08:05
Morne Morkel (Gallo)

Johannesburg - South Africa will make history on Tuesday by beating Australia in a home Test series for the first time since re-admission. 

Australia need an impossible 524 runs on day five of the fourth and final Test at the Wanderers on Tuesday to level the series. South Africa need seven more wickets to win the series 3-1. 

The hosts, though, have numerous injury worries. 

Morne Morkel, in his final Test match, is battling a side strain. He was heavily strapped on Monday and was clearly in pain from the first ball he bowled, but the lanky 33-year-old soldiered on and finished day four with figures of 2/18. 

Kagiso Rabada, meanwhile, is struggling with a lower back strain while Vernon Philander has a groin niggle. 

All three seamers got through some overs on Monday, and they will all be needed on Tuesday as South Africa look for victory. 

Philander needs just two more wickets to become the seventh South African in history to get to 200 Test scalps. 

According to Proteas opener Dean Elgar, the injuries had been a concern for South Africa.

"I think he should bowl like that more often," Elgar joked, referring to Morkel's side strain.

"We’ve had a few bowlers that have pulled up with niggles and it was a bit of a concern for us if they would be able to bowl in the second innings.

"Thank goodness they could actually get through quite a few overs for us and bowl quite well on a wicket that is assisting them quite nicely.

"If we’ve got them running at 60% it’s going to be awesome for us tomorrow."

Captain Faf du Plessis, meanwhile, also battled through injury. 

He was hit on the finger while batting and at one stage it looked like he would be better off retiring hurt. 

Instead, the skipper kept batting and recorded a much-needed Test century.

"I think that would have motivated him more ... made him hungrier to stay out there and fight through the pain," Elgar said.

"That’s his character when he’s batting. It was awesome to see him not walk off, although knowing him he was never going to walk off.

"It was not nice for him to get hit on that finger twice. Once you’ve hurt something, you seem to keep hurting it if you don’t have time off from the game. It was nice to see him solider on, that’s what leaders do and I never expected him to do anything else."


Read more on:    proteas  |  morne morkel  |  johannesburg  |  cricket

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