Morné Morkel. Picture: REUTERS
Morné Morkel. Picture: REUTERS

Morné Morkel was a storm in a port in the moments after he bowled the third delivery at Kingsmead on Thursday.

The ball hit Cameron Bancroft high on the pads. Too high‚ surely. Not for Morkel.

He appealed at — not to — Kumar Dharmasena who stood stoic and unmoved.

He appealed again.

Both times Morkel unfurled his albatross wings to their fullest extent‚ serrated fingers fluttering for added emphasis.

Both times his throat bulged and his eyes burned with undiluted gees.

What was Faf du Plessis to do but send the decision upstairs‚ where it was revealed that the ball had indeed hit Bancroft too high for him to be given out.

Another question should have been sent upstairs: was Morkel miffed?

If he was it had taken him only 12 years‚ 83 Tests and three balls to get there.

That’s not surprising for a bowler who would have spent many of those 83 Tests wondering if it would be his last.

Morkel has taken or shared the new ball only one more time than he has bowled first change. He is no one’s idea of a third seamer‚ even at test level. Except when the first two seamers are Makhaya Ntini and Dale Steyn. Or Steyn and Vernon Philander. Or Philander and Kagiso Rabada.

Worries of job security are only natural when you bowl behind and between that lot. But Morkel handed in his notice when he announced he would retire after the series against Australia.