'Available for selection', Morne Morkel hits ground running
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The strap around his ankle did signal a painful reminder of the sprain it suffered during the third day's play of the first Test, but on the eve of the second Test, Morne Morkel was not just up and about, he was also running, playing football, batting and most importantly for South Africa, bowling.
The tall fast bowler's on-field injury while trying to field a ball at fine-leg had put a serious strain on the home team's bowling attack while India piled on the runs in their second innings. But for now, Morkel looks fit to take up his rightful place in the pace attack for the second Test that starts at Kingsmead on Thursday.
"He seems to be okay. I haven't chatted to the physiotherapist Brandon Jackson again but just briefly chatting to Morne, he seems to be fine so that's good news for us," said South Africa coach Russell Domingo. He also added thatw Morkel's recovery had been better than expected.
Morkel was put through the grind by trainer Gregory King during the fitness test. After he had bowled off a short run for a few minutes, he was soon sent off to the boundary where he had to undergo a few basic fielding drills, running sideways and up and down to test his ankle.
That went on for close to 30 minutes. Morkel then padded up and spent close to 20 minutes batting in the nets, mainly facing throw-downs from spin coach Claude Henderson and assistant coach Adrian Birrell.
"He certainly is available for selection. He has put his name in the hat for that. He's worked really hard on recovering from his injury. And he's bowled and batted today without any discomfort," said Birrell. Post his fitness test, Morkel joined Kyle Abbott, who was touted to replace him, near the centre-wicket where the two pacers took a detailed look at the 22-yards on show.