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World T20: South Africa have missed a trick by leaving out the Morkel brothers

 

Albie Morkel, Morne Morkel, World T20, India, South Africa, Proteas, World T20 selection, Injury
With their experience in the Indian subcontinent, Albie and Morne can afford to feel short-changed by their exclusion from South Africa’s World T20 plans.

 

As South Africa announced their squad for the upcoming World Twenty20 tournament in India, one family in particular would have been left feeling a bit perplexed. The Morkel brothers – Morne and Albie – were left out of the Proteas’ 15-man squad. The selectors chose to go for an extra spinner in Aaron Phangiso, while Chris Morris and David Wiese were the all-round picks.

Test spearhead Morne Morkel has fallen out of favour in South Africa’s plans in the shortest format over the past six months. He last played a T20 international versus New Zealand in August last year and was subsequently left out of the T20s in both Bangladesh and India. With an injured Dale Steyn leading the pace attack, Morne can well feel a bit peeved especially with his experience in Indian conditions, having been part of the Indian Premier League since 2009 for Rajasthan Royals, Delhi Daredevils and Kolkata Knight Riders. However, if Steyn’s niggles in his groin and shoulder don’t heal in time, Morne Morkel could yet lead the South African pace battery in the World T20.

Albie Morkel’s case is a bit more complicated. He is extremely experienced in Indian conditions, having played more IPL matches than any South African apart from Jacques Kallis and AB de Villiers. After being away from the national team for a while, he was recalled against India late last year and finished with career-best figures of 3/12 in his 50th T20I. His absence from the World T20 squad, having recovered from injury post the India series, is a mystery with the wealth of experience and T20 knowledge he brings.

In JP Duminy, Chris Morris, Farhaan Behardien, David Wiese and possibly Kyle Abbott, South Africa have five players who can both bat and bowl to a fair degree. Or so you would think. Duminy is woefully out of from, Behardien bowls dibbly-dobblies and can’t hit a far ball consistently and Wiese has always shown more potential than actual results, Albie has every right to feel aggrieved.

After his career-best T20I figures Albie Morkel said that he thought he would never get the opportunity to play for South Africa again. Turns out he could probably be right, as it seems highly unlikely that he’ll appear in the international arena again.

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