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ICC CRICKET WORLD CUP

June 5, 2019

Chris Morris

Southampton, England, UK

India - 230-4, South Africa - 227-9

Q. Chris, was it surprising that in these conditions the skipper decided to bat first, like was it something that surprised you or the bowling unit as a whole?
CHRIS MORRIS: End of the day, I don't look at the pitch to be very honest. Whatever Faf makes in terms of the call and what we do first, that is the decision that is for the powers that be.

I look at the pitch and it doesn't matter what it looks like, I still have to bowl in the same areas. The pitch played tough for almost all 100 overs, but it doesn't make a difference to what we did first. It was a good cricket wicket.

Q. Not enough runs on the board. Was there talk at halfway in terms of how you approach that small total as a bowling unit and the sense of belief that you maybe had in the team that you could pull off a win?
CHRIS MORRIS: Absolutely. Especially the low totals, anything can happen, you know. The first five overs, things did happen. Unfortunately, they didn't land for us. Flip of the coin landed on the Indian side unfortunately with the few opportunities that came our ways. And when the ball lands in no-man's-zone like that in the first five overs three times it is quite difficult.

The opportunities were there. Unfortunately, it didn't go for us today. We created our chances. I thought we bowled really well with the new ball. And the guys came in and did their job.

End of the day, an Indian team that is that good, to take 48 overs to get 220 shows how well we bowled.

Q. It is probably unfair to be asking you this kind of question. Can you talk to us about the mindset? Going three down now, things are going to get pretty tough. What is the general feeling and where do you think things are going wrong?
CHRIS MORRIS: Well, if I had the answer I would be the head coach of the national side (smiling).

No, look, it's pretty simple. You lose three in a row at the World Cup and you are playing nine games, or eight games. You need to win every game from now on in. So the guys know what is needs to be done.

The guys aren't -- they are very disappointed and a bit angry, which they are allowed to be. We will sort that out in our heads tonight and when the sun comes up tomorrow we will go back to the drawing board and take on our next opponent. So like I said, it is pretty simple the next game. Win the next six and crack on (smiling).

Q. Chris, you were not originally picked in the squad, but a really good performance today with bat and ball. Doom and gloom probably in the dressing room, but a word on your own performance. Positives there?
CHRIS MORRIS: Pretty happy. Yeah, look, like I say, at the end of the day, I could get nought and go for a hundred and we win it, that's all that matters to me. It's nice to bowl well and nice to get some runs at the end, but like I said overall a lot of disappointment.

And it has been a tough couple of days in England for myself because I have been trying to get my loads up as much as I can, and bowling more than I have been used to bowling in the last three months of my life.

So it is quite nice for it to click today and get a bit of rhythm going, so there is a lot of positives to take out of today.

Q. Chris, what needs to happen for you guys to win a game?
CHRIS MORRIS: Score more runs. No, look, like I said to you, at the end of the day, today we created our chances. If we take those three going to hand in the first six overs today, India are 14-3 and staring down the barrel of a steaming Kagiso Rabada.

Maybe a bit of luck. Maybe it will go our way. At the end of the day, we've got to play as well as we can, as simple as that. The guys in the team are some of the best in the world and we need to put our hands up and do it. It's pretty simple.

Q. Chris, can you talk about the schedule, the Proteas' schedule? It's been a week. You have played three games already. Do you think that's been quite tough on the team? Also, naturally, there's a lot of pessimism from South African fans back home on social media. Could you perhaps just send a message to them and just your thoughts on that?
CHRIS MORRIS: I don't really read social media anymore (laughter). Look, the schedule has been a bit tough. I can only speak for myself, how I feel personally in terms of my body. Coming from IPL you are quite used to playing games on the bounce. Obviously the overs are a little bit more. So it has been a bit tough on the body.

Mentally, we are pretty fresh. Obviously, it is quite draining to lose and to go three down. But I think we'll be okay. There's a long of strong old boys in that team and some beautiful muscles in that side also. They will be okay.

Look, fans at home, all we can say is stay with us. Stranger things have happened in the World Cup before, in any sport. So back us as much as you can and we will try and perform for you.

Q. How important for the team was it that you guys really fought in the field given the situation you are in? Can you put your finger on while that passion was maybe missing in the first two games?
CHRIS MORRIS: Oh, I don't know. I think a non-negotiable for us would be probably be body language. Our body language let us down in the first two games which we addressed as a team and I thought today we were quite good in terms of that, I think we stayed in the fight.

Obviously, we dropped a few catches, or dropped a catch and we didn't really -- we let a few runs leak in the field. Overall today, I thought we were really good.

The guys captained their space quite well and the right fielders were in the right position, so I think body language had also to do with it, that is the one that we needed to sort out.

Q. Chris, if you can just maybe talk us through the personal, emotional rollercoaster that I imagine you have been on. I'm sure you were hopeful of making the squad in the first place. Then you don't. Then you get in. Then you come here and even when you have a great day, it is still a bit of a dark mood. On a personal level, what is that like to deal with?
CHRIS MORRIS: I'm actually okay (smiling). Yeah, to be not picked, I had a feeling I wasn't going to be in the squad. I hadn't played an ODI for a year, so you know as a player if you are in the mix or not. So there was no expectations, so no disappointment unfortunately. That is the way I put it.

To be picked in the squad is the word I used was 'bittersweet'. Because for me to come into the squad means someone who was in the original squad had to get injured. So it was bittersweet. I'm realising a dream of mine that I always wanted to do and taking someone's place who was there before me who got injured. So that was a bittersweet moment.

But look, at the end of the day, I'm here to do the business, I'm here to do a job and I try to do it to the best of my ability. Sometimes it doesn't go well. This is international sport. Not every day is going to go well for you. But emotionally, I'm okay. I have quite a good support base at home so I'm pretty good and the team's very tight. Love Island's started so we are good.

Q. Chris, you started well with the ball and bowled three maidens yourself. You have not done that before. So can you please describe the strategy bowling to the Indians early in the innings and keeping them quiet during that phase?
CHRIS MORRIS: Look, we saw what happened with the new ball with Jess and Buvy, we saw what happened, there was a bit of extra bounce and Faf got out. He said it was like facing the first hour of a Test match.

So, basically, that's what we went into our innings, of if we hit hard Test match lengths, there is going to be something for us and there was something for us. I keep mentioning it.

Today was just about hitting them with Test match lengths. That is all we had to do. There was enough in the wicket. Most of the time -- when was the last time you have seen Rohit Sharma get a hundred off 120 balls? He is usually quite a flowing player. For a guy of his quality to take that long to get a hundred, it shows you how well we bowled.

Yeah, we weren't far away, put it that way, we weren't far away.

Q. Chris, once you get into the squad, the original plan is not to open the bowling and now more injuries means that you are. Coming into the match, were you always aware that you were going to be opening the bowling? How was it going in training? Did you have to adjust lines, length, strategies, et cetera?
CHRIS MORRIS: I'd probably say the only thing I had to change was I had been training quite hard on hitting hard back of a length doing, almost the Liam Plunkett role, to hit the top of the stumps as hard as you can and try and use my pace and bounce.

I got told yesterday I needed to do some new ball work, which I did. I have been taking the new ball for domestic cricket for many years, so it was quite nice. I haven't done it internationally for a while.

It is not a new environment for me in terms of taking the new ball. I have done it my whole career.

Q. Faf took a knock on the right finger, while he was batting. How is his finger going, the status of his injury?
CHRIS MORRIS: Still attached, I think (smiling). It is fine. Faf is quite hard. He is quite a tough old school cricketer. I think he's okay. If it was worse than it actually was, he wouldn't have been on the field because he's damaged that finger before. I don't think it's too bad. It is a nasty bruise.

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