South African all-rounder Marco Jansen doesn’t know much about Lance Morris, but he’s expecting to be on the receiving end of “rockets” if the uncapped speedster is handed his Test debut at the SCG.
All signs suggest the West Australian quick will be picked for the Third Test in Sydney, with local hero Mitchell Starc to miss the match due to a finger injury.
Morris, who has earned the nickname “the wild thing”, has terrorised batters in the Sheffield Shield and leads the wicket-taking tally with 27 scalps this season.
Now it’s the South Africans’ turn to be on the receiving end of his searing pace, and the worrying thing is they haven’t seen enough of him to get a gauge on what they’ll be up against.
“I don’t know much about him; I just heard that he bowls rockets, but I haven’t really seen him,” Jansen said.
The Aussies have had to contend with the raw pace of Anrich Nortje this series, with a few of their batters copping body blows in Brisbane and Melbourne.
But the roles will be reversed in Sydney, with Jansen ready to cop his medicine.
“We really don’t have a choice, do we?” he said.
“Facing 150 (km/h) is not nice, and everyone knows it’s not nice.
“It’s not about worrying that this guy bowls 150 (and then thinking) how am I going to get through this? It’s trying to turn that – not negative energy – but taking that difficult situation and turning it into a positive.
“If I were to face someone like Anrich, I would try to tell myself every ball that it doesn’t matter, because you’re going to get hit eventually, so you can either choose to run away from it or you can choose to front up and give yourself the best chance to perform.
“We’re definitely going to embrace it. It’s not going to be easy, but it’s a nice challenge to look forward to.”
South Africa heads into the Sydney Test licking their wounds after a couple of heavy losses at the Gabba and the MCG, but they’ll be playing for more than pride, with a spot in the World Test Championship still up for grabs.
It’s why Jansen wants to see his teammates fight for everything this week to ensure they can salvage something from an otherwise disastrous tour.
“I know everyone gives their best, but it’s trying to figure out what we can do as individuals to influence the result in a good way,” he said.
“Whether that’s taking five blows to the body while batting or bowling seven or eight overs on the trot for the team, or recognising the moment and doing everything in your power to help the team get in a position to win the game.”