We Dealt the First Punch: Morkel

We Dealt the First Punch: Morkel
South African pacer Morne Morkel believes his and Dale Steyn's exploit with the new bowl on the first day of the opening Test would have repercussion on the rest of the three-match series and also send a good message to the Indian camp.

"We caused a huge damage for the rest of the series. We dealt the first blow, the first punch after winning the toss. It sends a good message that we are here and we are not going to stand there as a bowling unit," said Morkel, who returned with a four-wicket haul on the first day of the opening Test.

Morkel along with Steyn, who scalped three crucial wickets, ripped apart the famed Indian batting line-up to leave the visitors at 136 for nine at stumps and tall pacer said the duo was under pressure to take wickets.

"We have been bowling together for some time and so there was a bit of pressure on us to deliver. The main thing was not to get caught in there and get carried away as the game can change very quickly," he said.

His partner Dale said the soft dismissals of Indian openers Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag and senior batsman Sachin Tendulkar set up South Africa's dominating day today.

"When Sehwag hit the ball I thought it must have gone for a four but it landed at third man (Hashim Amla). We know Sehwag can be dangerous any day so it was satisfying to dismiss him early. A couple of wickets upfront set up the tempo for us today," Steyn, who took three for 34 said.

Steyn said he was happy to have got Sachin Tendulkar's wicket as it worked to his plan.

"I could say I deliberately made him wait for the ball to play. It was a good delivery and I am happy to have got his wicket. His was a big wicket. The wicket for Laxman was also a very good ball," he said.

Asked how he and his pace colleagues enjoyed bowling at seaming and bouncy conditions, Steyn said, "People talk about the pace and bounce of the pitch here. But finally it boils down to the execution of plans."

"Even if the wicket is fast-bowling friendly, wickets would not come if you don't put the balls at right areas," he added.
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