Opinion: Gibson must rethink Morris decision

Cricket Player in whites throws a ball in

Ottis Gibson is going to have to rethink his approach to Chris Morris now that Morne Morkel has announced his retirement from international cricket.

Morkel's big news came a couple of days after Morris was left out of the squad for the first couple of Tests against Australia. That's fine, for now, but thereafter someone is going to have to fill the void left by Morkel.

That person should be Morris, particularly amid Dale Steyn's frailties and the twilight of Vernon Philander's career. The Proteas brains trust have not put enough faith in him - and soon should be the time to do exactly that, or move on entirely.

Gibson has said Morris has a lot of work to do at domestic level, while Faf du Plessis has insisted he is too inconsistent to be the third seamer in the Test XI. He has only been given four appearances in the Test match XI, though, and has hardly embarrassed himself on the back of a dozen wickets at an average of 38.25.

Yes, those are great numbers, but goodness knows Wayne Parnell and other pretenders were afforded longer stints before being sidelined for the foreseeable future. South Africa could have done worse than including Morris in the squad, not necessarily the XI. If anyone, the rise of Junior Dala might threaten Morris' international future.

Meanwhile, the inclusion of Wiaan Mulder is pretty intriguing. He is there, no doubt, to simply get a feel for surroundings he should be experiencing a lot more of in the future. They did a similar thing with Aiden Markram, who probably found himself in the starting XI a lot sooner than many expected. Perhaps the same awaits Mulder.

He is more or less another Morris- and Andile Phehlukwayo-type all-rounder, but probably offers a bit more with the bat and slightly less with the ball than them. Mulder only just turned 20 years old and debuted in first-class cricket a mere two years ago, but what a treat it would be to see him crack the nod for one or more of the upcoming Tests. 

He seems to have enough maturity to face up to the likes of Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins, while does enough with the ball to warrant a go at David Warner and company. Now is not the time, not yet at least, to question his technique - let's first see how his temperament handles the cauldron and then judge accordingly.

South Africa, remember, have only named a squad for the opening two of their four Tests against the Aussies. A cheeky punt for the selection of Pieter Malan for the penultimate and final matches, then, isn't untoward, particularly if things have not gone well for Markram and Dean Elgar at the top of the order by then. Malan is second only to Vaughn van Jaarsveld in the ongoing Sunfoil Series' run-scoring ranks - and big performances against the Dolphins in Pietermaritzburg and table-topping Titans in Paarl before the third Test would serve as a timely, final knock at the national selectors' door.

The views expressed above are solely those of the author in his private capacity and do not in any way represent the views of Hollywoodbets.

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Written by Jonhenry Wilson for Hollywoodbets

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