Even though the renowned pace-friendly WACA surface, which has been a minefield for most of this season, was somewhat subdued, Morris made his presence felt with sharp bowling that appeared too hot to handle for 21-year-old Chandrasinghe.
Used in short bursts, bowling from the Lillee-Marsh end with the aid of the famed ‘Freo doctor’ seabreeze, Morris finished with 2 for 52 from 18 overs.
Morris’ last red-ball game was against Queensland at the Gabba in early December before his elevation into Australia’s Test squad against West Indies for the second Test in Adelaide.
“Certainly felt like it’s been two months, that’s for sure. A little bit of rust. Nice to blow the cobwebs out,” Morris said after the day’s play with Victoria reaching stumps at 8 for 194 in their first innings.
Morris was locked in an absorbing battle with a gutsy Chandrasinghe, who repeatedly stonewalled in a 266-ball innings to bat through the day and finish 46 not out.
He bowled one thunderous delivery that went over Chandrasinghe’s head though was left frustrated when he had the left-handed batter caught behind just before tea but it was ruled a no ball.
Morris finished with six front no balls due in some part to technical changes to his run-up.
“I’ve been working on technical stuff with run-ups… thrown me off. [I need to] find a way around it, will look to do that tomorrow,” Morris said. “It could have been a better day, but overall we shot ourselves in the foot…probably on my part.”
Even though he has yet to crack a Test debut, Morris has soaked in a wealth of knowledge being around Australia’s stock of star-studded quicks.
“Leading into the summer, never thought I would be near that [Test] level,” he said. “To be able to get knowledge off them and just watch them go about their business…is a huge learning experience.”
Morris has been bandied around as a possible Mumbai Indians replacement for injured WA teammate Jhye Richardson. While hosing down those reports, Morris did say that he was eyeing a County deal in the U.K. ahead of Australia’s Ashes tour.
That’s all down the track as Morris ,right now, remains focused on helping WA secure a historic treble of domestic titles for the second straight season.
“[The wicket’s a] touch slow. If we can bowl them out for around 200, I think we’ll be pretty happy,” he said.
Tristan Lavalette is a journalist based in Perth
(With Inputs from ESPN)
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