SOUTH African allrounder Albie Morkel says his mental approach to Twenty20 cricket has evolved throughout the latter stages of his career.
There has been much speculation over the past few years around defining Morkel's role in the Proteas team as to what sort of an allrounder he is and what his role is in the team. There are also those who have questioned whether he should even be in the team at all.
But the 31-year-old is at peace with the naysayers and has a firm comprehension of how he will fit into the game plan during the ICC World Twenty20 tournament in Sri Lanka.
Morkel averages a decent 24 with the bat over 40 matches in this format of the game with a healthy strike rate of 142. His economy rate with the ball at 7.88 needs some work, although the strike rate of a wicket every 24 balls, for an allrounder, is around par.
The role of coming in and having to thrash the first ball he faces is a task he has embraced and he still thrives on batting at the death.
"I enjoy it. It's a high-pressure situation. Your success rate is probably five out of 10 or maybe lower."
Speaking during a South African training session in Colombo yesterday, he stressed the need to make an impact in a T20 game "where there are such small margins.".
"In the beginning of my career in T20 cricket, you always felt like a failure when you scored like eight off three or whatever, because you don't really get those results on the board.
"Once you get to understand the game a bit better, you actually realise that stuff like that contributes to getting totals on the board."
Like JP Duminy and newcomer Farhaan Behardien, Morkel's role is to give the innings impetus at the end. He has also taken on a more senior role with the ball.
"For the first time in a long time we've got a settled T20 side where guys have certain roles. My role is to try and give the team a kick when we need it.
"In the bowling department, I've been bowling in different situations so I'm also enjoying that role a bit more. I'm not trying to hide from the big guns. I try to take them on with the ball now as well and that gives me, as a person, more stuff to concentrate on.
"I think it's more in 50-over cricket that you want a specific role. In T20 cricket it's fine, because the impact you make can be in two or three balls. It doesn't have to be off 30 or 40 balls."
There is no doubt Morkel has the potential and will be desperate to take his opportunity if it arises in the Super Eight stage on Friday.