Ponting has special plan for Albie
Ricky Ponting put Albie Morkel on notice after his heroics in Friday night's first Pro20 international that he would come in for "special attention" from the Australians during the upcoming one-day series.
The Australian captain would not reveal what that "special attention" would be - "I'm not going to tell you," he quipped - but whatever it is the tourists had better come up with something good, because Morkel has slaughtered Ponting's side this summer with his late innings power-hitting.
In conjunction with Mark Boucher, Morkel added 58 runs in five overs to swing the first match South Africa's way after David Hussey and Brett Geeves had each claimed two wickets to leave the home side floundering on 83-5 at the start of the 13th over.
"He is a very very dangerous hitter, there is no doubt about that," Ponting said after Morkel's innings of 37 off 19 balls with four fours and two sixes, helped South Africa claim a four wicket win.
"They use him very well, they hold him back for the final onslaught and it's come off more often than not of late, so we have to find ways so that we can stop that."
Morkel's awesome hitting was the catalyst for South Africa's first two victories in the recent one-day series between the two sides in Australia and Ponting was wary of letting him gain the confidence to do so again when the two sides meet in a five match one-day series starting in Durban on Friday.
Before then though he'll have to try and put a stop to Morkel today, in the second Pro20 International at SuperSport Park in Centurion.
Both teams are expected to make changes, with Australia likely to bring in Nathan Bracken, the world best one-day bowler, and off-spinner Nathan Hauritz. Ponting wasn't overly concerned about the performances of new players like Shane Harwood and Brett Geeves on Friday, despite both being battered by Morkel.
"It's about giving guys some exposure. We've got a bigger picture to look at with the 20/20 World Cup not that far away so the more chances we can give to these younger guys the more they can learn and the more we can learn about them and the better off we'll obviously be."
Johan Botha hinted at South Africa also making changes for today's match, with both Yusuf Abdullah and Roelof van der Merwe getting an opportunity to show off their talents with an eye on the World Cup which will take place in June.
South Africa's stand-in captain, couldn't miss the opportunity to praise Boucher and Morkel for their roles in getting South Africa across the line on Friday.
"When it gets to 62 (runs) off 30 (balls) a lot of teams will probably think they are out of it, but our two guys showed that they can do it," said Botha.