Abbott should get nod over Morkel: KP | cricket.com.au

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Abbott should get nod over Morkel: KP

England great says less-experienced paceman should replace Steyn based on a horses-for-courses approach

Former England batsman Kevin Pietersen believes Kyle Abbott should be South Africa's preferred option over the more experienced Morne Morkel to replace Dale Steyn for the second Test in Hobart.

Pietersen, who is in Australia as a commentator with Nine's Wide World of Sports ahead of his KFC Big Bash return with Melbourne Stars, had advocated for Morkel's inclusion in the series opener at the WACA Ground in Perth, however he says Abbott is the smarter selection for the Tasmania Test based on a horses-for-courses approach.

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"Kyle Abbott," Pietersen told cricket.com.au when asked who he'd have alongside Vernon Philander and Kagiso Rabada in the Proteas pace attack.

"I know I talked about Morne Morkel missing out – and he shouldn't have – in Perth, but that was (an opinion based on) conditions.

"I think in Hobart, (with the ball) swinging and seaming, you need an areas kind of bowler.

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"I think Kyle Abbott's your bowler – he pitches it up, gets it to swing a bit, bowls good areas.

"He'll complement that bowling attack really, really nicely, so fingers crossed the selectors go with Abbott."

Morkel, a 71-Test veteran who has played six times in Australia for 23 wickets at 34, was deemed only "90-95 per cent fit" by Proteas captain Faf du Plessis before the WACA Test following a back injury that had sidelined him for two months.

The tall right-armer took two wickets in each of South Africa's warm-up matches in Australia, one more than 29-year-old Abbott.

Abbott, however, is expected to get the nod ahead of Morkel, who South Africa coach Russell Domingo explained remains somewhat under an injury cloud.

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"We've got two options at the moment – Kyle Abbott and Morne Morkel," Domingo said ahead of the South Africans touching down in Tasmania.

"Morne is coming off a back injury. We'll assess him two days before the Test and make the call on whether he is 100 per cent fit.

"Kyle Abbott is a consistent, solid performer and has been every time he has come in.

"We need to weigh up what type of bowler we want to use under the conditions in Hobart, because I think they are different to what they are here (in Perth).

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"It's a fascinating series because all three venues have totally different conditions.

"I've never been to Hobart, I've heard its cold and the wickets are a little New Zealand-like, a little slower."

Abbott took nine wickets on his Test debut against Pakistan in February 2013 and has snared another 12 in six matches since, including three against the Australians in Cape Town in March 2014.

The right-armer also played two ODIs against Australia in their recent 5-0 whitewash of Steve Smith's men, taking six wickets, including Test pair David Warner and Mitch Marsh.

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