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South African bowlers glad to be back on friendly wickets

South African bowlers glad to be back on friendly wickets

DURBAN (Reuters) – A change from spin-friendly wickets in India to ones favouring seamers means South Africa’s pace attack are keenly looking forward to the test series against England, which starts on Saturday.

The pacemen toiled in India last month when South Africa were thrashed 3-0 by their hosts but they will find tailor-made wickets for the four-test series against the English.

“It’s always fun for a fast bowler starting off in the nets to see a bit of bounce but the whole bowling unit is excited,” said Morne Morkel, who shouldered much of the responsibility in India after injuries to Vernon Philander and Dale Steyn and enhanced his reputation with his reverse-swing bowling.

“Training has gone well in the last two days, it was important for us to get the cobwebs out and to build on (it) for Boxing Day,” Morkel told reporters on Wednesday.

“I sat down with (bowling coach) Charl (Langeveldt) and worked on a couple ideas, setting batsmen up with the reversing ball, it was pleasing for me to get that skill going. It’s going to be a crucial part, especially here in Durban where the ball can scuff up.

“I enjoyed leading the attack in India, it was a great challenge for me,” he added.

“When you get the number one-ranked fast bowler back you will gladly take the backseat again. Dale has some sideline fever at the moment, he is ready to go. He has worked hard on his game over the last couple of weeks and you can see with the energy and venom he has been bowling with in the nets today, it’s quite exciting,” Morkel said.

“We are playing at home and although things didn’t go according to plan in India, it’s time for us to front up, we need to lead from the front.

“It’s important for us not to look too far ahead and to just take it session by session and to try and play the best quality cricket that we know we can play. We know the wheel will turn in our favour again and it’s just a matter of sticking it out and fronting up.”

(Reporting by Mark Gleeson; Editing by Clare Fallon)

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