New Delhi: For Morne Morkel, the idea of soaking up pressure at the international level is to make mistakes and learn from them all by himself and that is why the South African pacer feels he is flourishing in the IPL as his captain Virender Sehwag doesn't spoon-feed him. "Personally, I hate the idea of trying to spoon-feed a cricketer as to what he needs to do in pressure situations. I have seen captains who love to dominate and direct a bowler about dos and don'ts in match situations," the Delhi Daredevils pacer told PTI in an exclusive interview.
"But when you are spoon-fed, you don't grow as a cricketer. Make mistakes and try yourself to find out the solution," the leading wicket-taker in this year's IPL said. "That's why I like Virender Sehwag's approach as he likes you to be your own man. Viru would never set fields for you as he believes that if I am an international bowler, I am good enough to set my own fields. Only if things don't work according to plan, he would come up and suggest an alternative," Morkel added.
Talk about pressure situation and the 19th over against Rajasthan Royals comes up for discussion. The satisfaction of executing his plan was writ large on his face. "It was a do-or-die situation and I was bowling at the back-end for the first time. That over has given me a lot of
confidence. I am still working on my bowling at the death. How to pitch it a bit fuller as some of the batsmen are playing me well on the backfoot," says the current 'Purple Cap' holder.
Morkel, who has 139 wickets from 39 Tests however feels lucky that two great players like Sehwag and Mahela Jayawardene are there in the dressing room to share their invaluable experience. "I have my little black notebook where I jot down some of the tips of Viru and Mahela. With the Twenty20 World Cup in another four months' time, the IPL is an ideal platform where you get the taste of the sub-continental conditions and that will come in handy in Sri Lanka. It's good that all top South African players like AB [de Villiers], Dale [Steyn] and myself have done well in this edition."
Ask him about the batsmen who have posed real challenge for him during his six-year career, Morkel replied, "It's got to be KP [Kevin Pietersen]. With his height and reach, he has been a phenomenal player of both pace and spin. We have seen what he has done during this IPL on these Indian tracks and he can be equally devastating on bouncy wickets in Australia and South Africa."
Morkel had special words of praise for his South African team-mate Vernon Philander. "If someone has got 51 wickets in seven Tests, he is a special talent. He has been amazing during the past season. At times, it felt as if he has 10 years of international experience under his belt."
Morkel is proud of the fact that he is now the leader of the Delhi Daredevils' bowling attack. "It is a special feeling. When I go back and join Proteas, this experience would be of enormous help. The advice you get from likes of KP and Viru can't be bought from supermarket," he concluded.