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It was special to watch Sachin bat, says Albie Morkel

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) all-rounder Albie Morkel admitted yesterday that his team haven’t played like true champions in the ongoing Indian Premier League-V. The South African however was confident that the defending champions can still get their act together. CSK is currently placed fourth in the points table have accumulated 11 points from 12 matches. 


Mumbai Indians’ Sachin Tendulkar drives during the IPL match against Chennai Super Kings at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Sunday. Pic/Atul Kamble

“Despite having a star-studded team and quality finishers like Hussey (Michael) and (Mahendra Singh) Dhoni, we have been inconsistent this year. The team is not looking like a champion side. It is pretty frustrating when we lose close matches. At times we don’t get runs on board, and sometimes the bowling is not up to the mark. There is a lot of pressure now, as we need to win at least three of the remaining four matches if we want to be in the title race,” Albie told MiD DAY during a visit to a sports equipment store yesterday. Chennai were beaten by Mumbai Indians off the last ball at the Wankhede Stadium on Sunday.


CSK’s Albie Morkel during a promotional event in Mumbai yesterday. Pic/Vijay Bate

Albie was at the receiving end on Sunday, when Mumbai Indians’ senior pro Sachin Tendulkar took 14 runs off him in a single over. He ended up with none for 34 off three overs while Tendulkar blasted away 74 runs off just 44 balls as MI won by two wickets. It’s no wonder then despite losing Albie was all praise for the Master Blaster. “It is always tough to play against guys like Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag. Though I was hit by Tendulkar, it was special to watch the great player bat,” said Albie, who has scored 75 runs and taken seven wickets in this edition of the T20 league so far.

Hopeful
His poor run notwithstanding though he is hoping to make it to the Proteas team for the World T20 in Sri Lanka in September. “I am sure the selectors back home are keeping a close eye on my performance in the IPL.

“I believe I can make it to the team for the World T20 and that the IPL experience will come in handy in Sri Lanka,” he said. The 30-year-old all-rounder is obviously pleased to see his kid brother, Morne (27) doing well for the Delhi Daredevils, having taken 19 wickets from 10 matches this far. Their  mother Mariana however, gets emotional whenever the two brothers are in opposite camps — like on April 10, when Delhi hosted Chennai.

“When I spoke to my mom after that match, she said that she was very nervous. She didn’t want Morne to get me out and nor did she want me to hit him for a six. After all, he’s the little baby of the house… the youngest in the family,” said Albie, who was not out on two and went wicketless giving away 24 runs of two overs, while Morne took two for 19 off his four overs as Delhi won that match by eight wickets.

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