I did my best to maintain cricket fitness: Chris Morris

Chris Morris

Chris Morris has said that the bidding war that made him the foremost expensive IPL buy was a wide-ranging experience, not least due to the arrogance he derived from knowing just what percentage teams were willing to possess him.

“We all know for you to travel for a high tag, it means people want you in their team which your services are quite valued so yeah it gives you quite a lot of confidence,” Morris, who was sold to Rajasthan Royals for INR 16.25 crore in February, said. “I’ll be the primary person to mention that my breath was removed. I didn’t expect, first of all, to be bought for that much and for therefore many teams to require my services, so yeah it’s a humbling feeling. It took my breath away for that to happen, and for teams to stay going on behalf of me like that blew my mind. I never in my wildest dreams thought that I’d be playing in my eighth IPL. So to still be playing, on behalf of me still to be needed, for my services to be valued is extremely cool, and humbling.”

Morris, though, is conscious of the pressure his paycheck comes with. On top of that, his fitness is going to be under the scanner after how he started the last season on the bench and will play only nine games for the Royal Challengers Bangalore. The franchise released him before the newest season.

“All my preps are right but the injuries have come at the incorrect time. I feel last year was a touch of a special one – there wasn’t any cricket coming into the IPL so there have been tons of sentimental tissue injuries, many pulled muscles simply because of the shortage of cricket. Like I keep reiterating, I’ve done everything I can to stay cricket fit and when that first game comes, I will be able to go,” Morris said.

Turning up for the Titans within the CSA T20 Challenge puts him in a better space going into IPL 2021 but the challenges are going to be aplenty after what Morris calls “one big long pre-season.”

“It’s a case where there hasn’t been much match practice so I’ve done everything I can. I’ve had one big long pre-season. that is what I have been telling people since my Titans time. I have been running around, bowling my overs, bowling with the red ball, so yeah I have been doing everything I can without actually playing cricket. there is no club cricket in South Africa at the instant (due to Covid-19). There hasn’t been a chance to play cricket but…end of the day injury is a component of the sport. I have been on the unfortunate side of it, I’d wish to call it that.”

Rajasthan Royals are going to be Morris’s third IPL team in three years. He’s played for four franchises thus far and everyone traveling has meant adjusting to constantly changing roles and team personnel. This year, he is going to be sharing the room with another all-rounder in Ben Stokes but feels that his role is going to be “completely different” thereto from the 29-year-old from England.

“He’s taking care of the top half, I’m taking care of rock bottom half,” Morris said. “I think we’ll have different roles. Stokesy opens the batting. He’s one among the simplest within the world, if not the simplest within the world. He’s the simplest allrounder that’s playing at the instant. His role is going to be at the highest of the order. I’m a lower order batter so my role is going to be to end games with the bat.

“Hopefully I can contribute more with the bat this year. And he (Stokes) bowled tons less last year than he did within the previous couple of IPLs… but look, the guy possesses a magic touch so if we’re feeding off one another in our different roles, I feel we might be quite an interesting duo to return up against. we’ve two completely different roles – he’s taking care of the top-half, I’m taking care of rock bottom half.”

Morris also will be playing under a replacement captain in Sanju Samson, “a seriously good cricket player” who was appointed to the role before the auction in February.

“A new captain in an IPL team is usually exciting and I will be giving Sanju one hundred pc support,” Morris said. “I am quite lucky because I even have an honest equation with Sanju. I’ve played with him at Rajasthan and I have played with him in Delhi so I’ve got a really good relationship with him.

“I don’t see Sanju as a young captain, I see him as Sanju – the guy’s a seriously good cricket player and he’s got a really good cricket brain. For a man who can keep wickets and who can field, he sees different angles, he sees different approaches from behind the stumps so I’m sure he’s got some good ideas, he’s got some good interesting things that we will discuss when it involves tactics and what the plans are. Sanju may be a guy who wants to win, and he’s a man who is extremely serious about the sport. So it’s getting to be interesting to ascertain what he’s got for us and that I am looking forward thereto .”

With Jofra Archer’s participation and recovery timeline uncertain after the surgery on his hand, Morris would be needed to steer the attack. And he’s quite looking forward to the challenge. “It won’t be a replacement role if I’m leading the attack, it won’t be a replacement role if I’m supporting somebody else. there is a bit of responsibility leading the attack but it won’t be alien to me,” Morris said.

The challenge is going to be manifold within the death overs, especially within the absence of Archer, but Morris said he will stick with what’s worked best for him over the years.

“Thick skin and acceptance,” Morris reveals. “I think at the death, the person with the clearest mind usually comes out on top but you’ve to simply accept the very fact that you are going to travel for runs at the death. It’s about limiting the damage. The next day when the sun comes up, you cannot keep looking back. you’ll learn from it but can’t keep looking back. you’ve to seem forward.”

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