We deserve to be in playoffs: Albie

Morkel brushes aside the claims of CSK being lucky to end up in top four

Bengaluru 22 May 2012
The quality most needed in a finisher is the hunger to fight. No wonder Albie Morkel has taken to the role so beautifully. The South African has won matches for the Chennai Super Kings from hopeless situations, thus inspiring them to fight their way into the playoffs. It wasn’t the smoothest of rides for the defending champions as they stumbled, got up and eventually took support of the other teams to book a place in the final four.

Morkel, who has been one of the more consistent performers for CSK rubbishes claims of the luck factor having played a role in taking CSK this far. The proud Protea prefers to look at the positives and reflects on the team’s good performances, before they take on the Mumbai Indians on May 23, instead of discounting the hard work by crediting it all to luck.

Here are the excerpts of the all-rounder’s chat with

Do you consider yourselves fortunate to have made it to the playoffs?

Everyone has been asking that question to us since last week. You can see it in that way, but from our point of view, every team played 16 matches in the league phase and we went through on a higher net run-rate, which means we played better than the teams below us throughout the league phase. That’s how we, as a team, see it and that’s how we’re going to approach the playoffs.

How tough is it depending on the other teams?

It’s tough. We haven’t played consistent cricket this time, but at least we gave ourselves a chance of qualifying into the top four even though we waited for other results. I don’t think it’s a negative thing. You can’t always be on the top of the world; sometimes, you have to scrap and slip in through the back door.

CSK have lost both their games to MI. Does that mean anything at this stage?

It should mean something. They’re a very strong side and have played fantastic cricket throughout the tournament. The first time they absolutely outplayed us in Chennai and the second one went up and down throughout. We really should’ve won it in the end. I’m sure they’ll take momentum out of that, but then the semi-final [eliminator] has its own different pressure. It’s a knockout game and anything can happen on the day.

The Bengaluru track is very different from the one you’re used to in Chennai. Your thoughts.

You always pretty much get a good T20 track here, which produces high-scoring games. It’s not a wicket on which you need time to get used to. It’s a quicker wicket, similar to what he have back home in South Africa. It encourages the big shot players. Both teams have got some very good strikers of the ball. It’s very difficult to bowl at venues like this. It’s good to have big games on such venues. You get a high-scoring contest, which entertains the crowd and is thrilling for the players as well.

Would you want to bat higher up the order on such a wicket?

It’s not only me, everyone who bats lower down the order wants to come up. But my role in this team is to finish games and that’s what I have to be happy with. It’s a role that gets really difficult at some venues where the wicket is slow and turning. It’s very difficult to hit from ball one on such tracks. On a ground like this, the role gets a bit easier. You can back yourself as you know there’s going to be pace on the ball and the boundaries are going to be short.

Does the team have a plan for Lasith Malinga?

Not yet. He’s a world-class bowler and there’s no point planning for him. He’s got the slower ball, the yorker, the bouncer and is pretty good in his areas. Hopefully, he has an off day. If that happens, we have a very good chance against him.
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