Morkel backing South Africa bowlers


Morne Morkel backed South Africa's undermanned pace attack to deliver in the third Test against India starting in Nagpur on Wednesday.

Dale Steyn (groin) appears set to be sidelined again and Vernon Philander (ankle) has already been ruled out of the series.

South Africa have added Marchant de Lange to their squad as cover for Steyn.

India lead the four-Test series 1-0 after rain ruined the second meeting between the teams.

Spinners have dominated so far, with Ravindra Jadeja (12 wickets), Ravichandran Ashwin (12) and Imran Tahir (6) impressing.

Morkel, who will need to lead the attack if Steyn is missing, said South Africa's bowlers were ready for another slow, low wicket.

"Coming here as a fast bowler we weren't expecting favours, we knew that the wickets would turn," he said.

"For us, mental preparation was always going to be key, especially bowling well with a reverse-swinging ball.

"That has been the big strength for us over the last couple of years and that is how we achieved success in India in the past."

India opener Murali Vijay has delivered with the bat for the hosts, making 150 runs at an average of 75 in the two Tests so far.

But he paid tribute to India's bowlers, who dismissed South Africa for 109 in the second innings in the first Test in Mohali.

"As a team the bowlers doing well gives you a lot of confidence because the momentum is always with you," Vijay said.

"If you keep taking wickets the batsmen will be ready to go in. Being a good bowling unit is what most teams are after, and hopefully we can do that on a consistent basis."