IPL money put pressure on me, says Morris
South Africa fast bowler Chris Morris is excited to play in the T20 series against Pakistan, having made his debut against New Zealand, but this time he is fit and ready to bowl his full quota of overs.
Morris took two wickets in the one T20 he played for the Proteas against the Black Caps, but had to go off with an injured hamstring. This time though, he is ready to show why he was one of the most expensive purchases at this year's Indian Premier League auction.
The Lions paceman said: "It's much easier now, because I know what to expect, I know some of the guys and I'm confident about my fitness and about my form."
He then went on to discuss the impact his R5.8 million ($650.000) IPL contract had on his bowling, saying he felt pressure to live up to the massive figure after being bought by the Chennai Super Kings.
He started the South African domestic T20 competition rather badly, going for 88 runs in the first two matches and taking only one wicket. He then got together with bowling coach Gordon Parsons to look at some footage and got his confidence up again, taking four wickets in the next two games.
Morris explained: "I've had some problems with my bowling this season in the T20 competition. I guess I wanted to live up to what people thought I was worth. It was hard.
"I'd be fielding on the boundary and people were shouting, 'hey Morris, can you borrow me a million,' and there was a game where the lights went out and okes were going, 'hey, why didn't you pay the electricity?' That was kind of hard to deal with.
"I also think I expected more of myself. I was the leading wicket-taker last year and I just wanted to live up to all of that.
"In those first two games I was crap, but Gordon also put in the video of last year's game against Delhi (in the Champions League) and we spoke about how clear my mind was and how well I bowled in that game.
"It was a case of going back to what worked for me. To forget about the IPL and to concentrating solely on the Lions. I wanted to play well for the Lions, that's happened, and now I want to play well for South Africa."