Morris thankful to bowling coach Gibson for upturn in form


CHRIS MORRIS admits he has South Africa’s bowling coach Ottis Gibson to thank for rescuing him from the World Cup wilderness.

The 32-year-old bowling all-rounder wasn’t named in the original South African XV for the tournament, but was drafted in at the 11th hour after Anrich Nortje was ruled out through injury, so ending more than a year of exile from the ranks.

Morris’ record in ODI cricket has been underwhelming and he sat out the opening game defeat to England before conceding 73 in his ten overs in the loss to Bangladesh.

However, weeks of behind the scenes work with Gibson has brought greater clarity and a simplicity of approach which is now bringing rewards, a decent stint in defeat to India being followed by 3-13 in Saturday’s do-or-die win over Afghanistan in Cardiff.

He claims his cricket is in a happier place and ready for the win or bust games ahead, starting with New Zealand at Edgbaston tomorrow.

“I think there are a lot less worms in my head to be honest these days,” he said candidly.

“My role hasn’t changed. I’m probably just not trying to bowl as fast as I can because that is when I tend to break. It is basically about finding rhythm, hitting the wicket and not trying to do too many things.

“I’ve worked quite hard with Otis (Gibson) and found something in the run-up that we’ve changed a little bit and that has given me a lot more rhythm and balance at the crease, so it is coming out nicely for now.”

Morris will need to stay in that happy place if the Proteas are to produce the four wins from four, they need to have any chance of progressing.

And while Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the Aussies await further up the World Cup road, Morris feels Kane Williamson’s often underrated Black Caps may present the biggest roadblock to them keeping their hopes alive.

“In my opinion New Zealand are one of the favourites to be honest,” he added. “They have got a really good team, well balanced and well led.”

“I don’t want to call them dark horses because they deserve more than that. They are a really good world-class team, so I think our disciplines are going to have to be even tighter against them because there is nowhere to hide from those guys.

“They are that good. They have a seriously good bowling attack and a seriously good batting line-up, a destructive batting line-up. If they get going, they are hard to stop.

“It absolutely feels like we are playing for our life in the tournament every time we go out there now. It is pretty simple we have to win and that could bring out the best in us because we know there is nowhere to slip up.”


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