Chris Morris has said that the bidding war that made him the most expensive IPL buy was a breathtaking experience, not least because of the confidence he derived from knowing just how many teams were willing to have him.
“We all know for you to go for a high price tag, it means that people want you in their team and that 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 first person to say that my breath was taken away. I did not expect, first of all, to be bought for that much and for so many teams to want my services, so yeah it is definitely a humbling feeling. It took my breath away for that to happen, and for teams to keep going for me like that blew my mind. I never in my wildest dreams thought that I’d be playing in my eighth IPL. So for me to still be playing, for me still to be needed, for my services to be valued is very cool, and very humbling.”
Morris, however, knows about the pressing factor his check accompanies. In addition, his wellness will be under the scanner after how he began the keep going season on the seat and could play just nine games for the Royal Challengers Bangalore.
“All my preps have been right but the injuries have come at the wrong time. I think last year was a bit of a different one – there wasn’t any cricket coming into the IPL so there were a lot of soft tissue injuries, lots of pulled muscles just because of the lack of cricket. Like I keep reiterating, I’ve done everything I can to keep cricket fit and when that first game comes, I’ll be ready to go,” Morris said.
Turning up for the Titans in the CSA T20 Challenge places him in a superior space going into IPL 2021 however the difficulties will be in abundance after what Morris quotes, “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 basically had one big long pre-season. That’s what I’ve been telling people since my Titans time. I’ve been running around, bowling my overs, bowling with the red ball, so yeah I’ve been doing everything I can without actually playing cricket. There’s no club cricket in South Africa at the moment (due to Covid-19). There hasn’t been an opportunity to really play cricket but…end of the day injury is part of the game. I’ve been on the unlucky side of it, I’d like to call it that.”
Rajasthan Royals will be Morris’s third IPL team in three years. He’s played for four teams so far and all the moving around has implied acclimating to continually changing strategies and group work force. This year, he will be sharing his space with another all-rounder, Ben Stokes, yet he feels that his job will be “totally extraordinary” to that of the 29-year-old from England.
“He’s looking after the top-half, I am looking after the bottom half,” Morris said. Morris also quoted, “I think we’ll have various parts to play. Clearly Stokes opens the batting. He’s truly outstanding, if not the best on the planet. He’s the best all-rounder that is playing right now. His job will be at the highest point of the order in the team line-up. My job will be to complete the game with my skills asI’m a lower order batsman.”
“Hopefully I can contribute more with the bat this year. And Stokes bowled a lot less last year than he did in the last few IPLs… but look, the guy has got a magic touch so if we’re feeding off each other in our different roles, I think we could be quite an interesting duo to come up against. We have two completely different roles – he’s looking after the top-half, I am looking after the bottom half.”
Morris will also be playing under the captainship of Sanju Samson, which is new to him. According to him, he is a good player and fits well for the role of a captain. “A new captain in an IPL team is always exciting and I’ll be giving Sanju 100 percent support,” Morris said. Earlier Morris had the experience of playing with Sanju, he said, “I am obviously quite lucky because I have a good equation with Sanju. I’ve played with him at Rajasthan and I’ve played with him at Delhi so I’ve got a very good relationship with him.”
Praising Samson’s ability of being a good captain he said, “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 very good cricket brain. For a guy who can keep wickets and who can field, he sees different angles, he sees different approaches from behind the stumps so I am sure he’s got some good ideas, he’s got some good interesting things that we can discuss when it comes to tactics and what the plans are. Sanju is a guy who wants to win, and he’s a guy who is very serious about the game. So it is going to be interesting to see what he’s got for us and I am looking forward to it.”
“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 got to accept the fact that you’re going to go for runs at the death. It’s about limiting the damage. Next day when the sun comes up, you can’t keep looking back. You can learn from it, but can’t keep looking back. You’ve got to look forward.”