Can't have a set plan against AB de Villiers: Morne Morkel

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Kolkata, April 10: Praising Royal Challengers Bangalore batsman A.B. de Villiers' ability to read the game, Kolkata Knight Riders' South African pace spearhead Morne Morkel on Friday said it was a difficult to set a plan against his compatriot known for playing unorthodox shots.

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"You can't really plan against A.B. de Villiers, he is a world class batter. The only thing about this is to enjoy the contest between bat and ball and try to execute the plans," Morkel said on the eve of Knight's Saturday encounter against the RCB at the Eden Gardens here.

KKR's Morne Morkel celebrates a wicket

"A.B. has all the shots in the book, he scores 360 degree around so to have a set plan against A.B.. He reads the game too well. So you need to think on your feet and try to enjoy the experience and execute the basics as well as possible," said the lanky pacer.

"One thing about A.B. is he reads the game quite well. As soon as you do the field placements, he will sum it up and rework the game plan around that. We have seen in the past few years the reverse sweeps, the sweeps he has played, he is quite hard to bowl to.

"He can not only hit your short ball fort a six but even if you miss your yorker, he will hit it for a six. With players like him the margin of error is very small. At fast grounds like Eden Gardens it's quite tough to bowl at a guy like him," said Morkel.

The speedster, who bagged the man of the match during the Knight's opening game against Mumbai Indians on Wednesday, said it was important for the bowlers to stick to basics to counter the modern batsmen who use "big bats and have gotten used to the pace".

On queries if the Knights' preferred chasing down totals, Morkel said: "We don't mind chasing. We have so many match winners in our teams, anybody on a day can win the match with the bat or ball. Defending or chasing we got the weaponry and do the business."

"I think as the season goes on, the wicket will become lower and slower, that is the trend. It is important for me to make use of the conditions at the moment and change the gameplan later according to the conditions," said Morkel who bowled a fiery spell to end up with figures of 2/18 against Mumbai.

He said he will have to manage himself to absorb the rigours of spearheading the attack in a long tournament.

"It is a long tournament so I will have to manage myself. But so long as selectors want me to take the new ball I am quite happy to do that.

"But I think we have quite a lot of options, Andre Russell can bowl with the new ball. We have Pat Cummins who bowls at 140-150, has lot of skills, then there is Azhar Mahmood who can play a role when the wickets get slower," added Morkel.

IANS

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