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Posts Tagged ‘albie morkel’

With the World Twenty20 fast approaching, two of the potential winners go head-to-head with a two-match Twenty20 series which starts tomorrow in Johannesburg.

South Africa are the world’s number one One-Day side, but don’t have a great Twenty20 record against Australia. JP Duminy and Albie Morkel (with a Twenty20 strike rate of 133.90) will be amongst the Test players expected to step up, but there could be some unfamiliar faces in South African colours as the home side look to test out various combinations ahead of the summer.

For the tourists, a number of slots for the summer may be open, and the likes of Shane Harwood and James Hopes will be hoping to ensure their places in the Aussie World Twenty20 squad with strong performances against South Africa. Meanwhile, Mitchell Johnson‘s recent batting form may mean he may be considered an all-rounder in the shorter format, lending Australia an extra edge.

In all, things look set for another close series between the two sides.

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There are only two Albies who I have ever been made aware of. One of them is a racist dragon (who admittedly chooses to spell his name differently), and the other is set to make his Test debut against Australia, having apparently ousted his brother from the side.

It’s a shame Albie and Morne aren’t playing alongside each other, as I would love to hear commentators constantly referring to ‘the Morkels’, which sounds like it should be a slang term for a cricket-induced delirium (much like The D.T.s are to alcohol). “England’s defensive batting is giving me a severe case of the Morkels”, people would say.

Sadly, it seems I’ll have to wait a little longer to hear Mark Nicholas and Tony Greig inadvertently christen a new psychological condition.

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England take on South Africa in the first ODI of the series at Headingley tomorrow with a slightly re-jigged side, possibly featuring Matt Prior opening with Ian Bell, and with Owais Shah at number three.

The hosts will also make changes to their bowling line-up, partially forced by injury to Ryan Sidebottom and Chris Tremlett. Called up in their stead is Tim Bresnan. Former captain Paul Collingwood is still suspended, but Samit Patel may miss out to Luke Wright and/or Graeme Swann in the lower-middle order.

For South Africa, JP Duminy, Johan Botha and the tremendously-named Vernon Philander are all likely to play. Albie Morkel is definitely injured, and brother Morne is a doubt. Graeme Smith‘s side will be overwhelming favourites (although Duncan Fletcher is optimistic about England’s chances), and the return of Herschelle Gibbs to the side for the One-Dayers is likely to put bums on seats, as they say.

UPDATE: Harmison’s only gone and unretired himself.

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