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Albie Morkel believes Chris Morris will be South Africa's X-Factor in the Champions Trophy

South African all-rounder also believes that Morne Morkel is a very under-rated ODI bowler.

Morris
Morris has impressed with both and ball in IPL 2017

What’s the story?

South African all-rounder Albie Morkel believes that Chris Morris, who is currently playing in  IPL 2017 for Delhi Daredevils can be the X-factor for South Africa in the Champions Trophy that will take place in England in June. Albie also heaped praise on his younger brother, Morne Morkel and said most people don’t realize the impact he provides.

Speaking to SuperSport, Albie Morkel, said: “I think Chris Morris has improved immensely the past 15 months with the ball. He has added a yard and a half of pace. And he is controlling that delivery that swings back into the right-handed batsman. He also has that X-factor with the bat,” he said.

With 181 wickets in 108 matches at an economy rate of under 5, Morne has a brilliant record in ODIs. Speaking about him, the all-rounder said: “I don’t think people realise just how good an ODI-bowler he is. Just look at his record. It speaks for itself.”

Extra Cover: Champions Trophy 2017: South Africa announce squad; no place for Dale Steyn

The Context

With the Champions Trophy less than six weeks away, South Africa announced their squad for the tournament. AB de Villiers captains a strong batting line-up but the major talking point was the lack of experience in the bowling line-up which doesn’t include Dale Steyn and will be led by Morne Morkel. Both Quinton de Kock and JP Duminy, who aren’t taking part in IPL 2017 were both included.

South Africa’s squad: Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock, Faf du Plessis, AB de Villiers (c), JP Duminy, David Miller, Chris Morris, Wayne Parnell, Andile Phehlukwayo, Kagiso Rabada, Imran Tahir, Keshav Maharaj, Dwaine Pretorius, Farhaan Behardien, Morne Morkel

The Details

Chris Morris has undoubtedly been one of the biggest success stories of the IPL over the past few years and has developed immensely. He provides both variety with the ball courtesy of his ability to swing the ball and nail his yorkers at the death. His finishing prowess has only increased immeasurably in the last 18 months.

The bowling line-up, though is short on experience. While Morne Morkel and Imran Tahir are seasoned campaigners, the likes of Kagiso Rabada, Keshav Maharaj, Dwaine Pretorius, Andile Phelukwayo are all relative newcomers to the international arena.

What’s next?

Several key South African players taking part in IPL 2017 will leave the tournament early to prepare for the Champions Trophy. South Africa will play two warm-up matches against Sussex and Northants before playing England in a three-match ODI series from May 24-29 before the Champions Trophy that begins on June 1.

Author’s Take

There is no doubting Chris Morris’ prowess with both bat and ball. His recent IPL exploits only highlight just how good he has become. While the format is different, the skill-set is the same and there is little doubt that Morris will be an integral part of the Proteas side that will be looking to claim the Champions Trophy.

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