CSK can still qualify for play-offs, says Morkel

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Published: Tuesday, May 8, 2012, 16:08 [IST]
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Tough but not impossible for CSK: Morkel

Mumbai, May 8: Chennai Super Kings all-rounder Albie Morkel believes that the defending champions still have a chance to qualify for the play-offs if they can manage to win the close games.

"The finishing is not upto the mark. It is not something we are used to. It is just the closing of the games, whether batting or bowling. It is just one bowl at the crucial time. If we get the small basics at the right time, it would make the difference," Morkel told PTI at the sidelines of a promotional event.

The South African all-rounder admitted that they are in a must-win situation in their remaining games but believes Chennai have the team to overcome such a problem. "It is a massive challenge but we like challenges. I wouldn't be surprised if we make the top four. It is going to be difficult but we are a champion team and we know how to win trophies. We have done it before and have been in situations like this. So I think everyone is going to be up for it."

Champions in the previous two seasons, the Super Kings are currently placed on fourth position after 12 matches with 11 points.

Morkel said the three-day rest will help the players recover and start fresh. "The strategy is simple. We need to win four out of four. We have to bounce back and we have to do that because we have four games left and we want to qualify for the semifinals. Luckily, we have three days off where we can regroup, train again and recover a bit."

"We have tough back-to-back games but we will be up for it," Morkel insisted.

Morkel, who hit a 7-ball 28 against Royal Challengers Bangalore, admitted that the team's performance has been poor this season but warned opponents against taking his side lightly.

"It is always tough to come into a tournament as favourites. We have played great cricket for the last four seasons and this season has probably been the worst. But we are still in the fourth position at the table, which shows that even though we play bad cricket, we still can compete."

"In the last four games we need to get some momentum going. All the teams need to be a bit wary of us," he said.

Morkel added that the team has been unlucky so far, "To win a tournament like this, you need a bit of luck. We had all the luck last year and no luck this year. Close games are a fifty-fifty situations. Last year we won 80 per cent of the close games and this year we haven't won even one close game.

"I think we need the luck element and we will be all right," he said.

Apart from bowling, Morkel said he would like to be a bit more consistent with the bat and add a few more runs in the death overs.

"My performance has been up and down. I have been bowling well except for yesterday, when Sachin (Tendulkar) took me apart. But that is okay because he is the best batsman in the world and yesterday he batted fantastically well," said Morkel.

"I would like to be a bit consistent with batting, especially in the closing of the games. It is difficult to bat when you face only couple of balls. But there are no excuses. Even if you can score seven off four balls, you make a difference to the game. These small contributions make a big difference at the end," he added.

Morkel feels lack of aggression cost them this season, "We sort of went quiet every game. It (aggression) is not just there in most of the games. From a team point of view, I think that is where we lacked a little bit this year."he said.


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