South Africa v New Zealand, 1st Test, Cape Town, 3rd day

Philander concern for second Test

Firdose Moonda at Newlands

January 4, 2013

Comments: 26 | Text size: A | A

Vernon Philander took five wickets in the first five overs he bowled, South Africa v New Zealand, 1st Test, Cape Town, 1st day, January 2, 2013
Vernon Philander's fondness of Newlands continued as he bagged seven wickets against New Zealand © AFP
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There was déjà vu at Newlands for Vernon Philander when he took a five-for in New Zealand's first innings. Just 14 months earlier he did the same on debut against Australia. Michael Clarke's men were dismissed for 47 while Brendon McCullum's went two worse and were skittled for 45. The synergy was stark.

Now, there will be more flashbacks for the opening bowler in the lead up to the Port Elizabeth Test. The hamstring injury which kept him in doubt until the day before the Newlands match has recurred and similar uncertainty exists around his fitness for the second contest in the series.

Philander left the field after bowling his final spell of five overs (he bowled 24 in total in New Zealand's second innings) after he felt stiffness in his left hamstring. "He said he slipped in the footholes and because his left leg is his landing foot in his delivery stride when he stretches too far forward with it, it could affect the area again" Mohammed Moosajee, the South Africa team manager, told ESPNcricinfo.

After play, Philander said he felt the irritation slightly lower down in his left leg than where it was previously and "hoped" it was only stiffness. Moosjaee, though, is concerned that the strain has been aggravated so soon after it had healed. As a result, Philander is back on fitness watch and will be monitored and assessed in the lead up to the second fixture.

A grade one strain of the hamstring usually requires seven to ten days rest. The second Test starts next week Friday, which will give Philander a full week but because the latest niggle has occurred directly off the back of a previous one, the recovery time may be lengthened as a precaution.

"With Tests so close together, management may not want to risk playing Vernon but we also don't want to take a call too early," Moosajee said. "What we don't want it is for it become three strains in three weeks then he is out for a month."

Philander suffers from a chronic hamstring condition which would mean that if it is injured again, he could need even more time out of the game. With the Pakistan series to come, South Africa want him available so leaving him out of the Port Elizabeth match may prove the sensible option.

Rory Kleinveldt, Philander's new-ball partner at Cape Cobras and the reserve bowler in the national squad, is likely to play if Philander is ruled. Kleinveldt had a forgettable debut in Brisbane on the recent tour to Australia but came back well in his second Test in Adelaide, where he stood in for Philander whose back had seized up. He has yet to play a Test at home.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

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Posted by   on (January 6, 2013, 0:48 GMT)

The selectors should reward Gqamane for his fantastic performances. Normally would be too early in a player's career, but with little pressure bowling to a weaker side alongside two seasoned quickies, he would give gain experience for what promises to be a long stint in the national team.. Mc Laren could replace Elgar allowing Smith an extra bowler. This inclusion could also ease the political pressure that has resulted from Tsolikele's omission.

Posted by   on (January 5, 2013, 21:04 GMT)

@kirstenfan. RK's performance in the 1st test was indeed underwhelming. He did indeed take a wicket in the 1st innings at adelaide. Test 1: 0/97; test 2: 1/81; 3/65. Suggests improvement after 1st test nerves. Let's remember that the entire bowling unit had a nightmarish performance with no balls, etc. and that Clarke was dropped off RK in two separate tests as well. He can only do the best that he can do if selected to replace vern. Neither steyn nor morkel have really lived with vern (see 2012 stats) in the past year too. Quite frankly, even if vern plays, it may be an option to play RK ahead of DE? now there's an underwhelming 1st two tests for you. With de lange injured, RK deserves to be the backup and to play, when warranted, on the basis of a bowling average < 20 over the past two first class seasons. @vern detractors???? WOW! logic-defying!!!!

Posted by THE_MIZ on (January 5, 2013, 19:18 GMT)

@TheBigBoodha, you sir, seem to be the biggest troll on cricinfo! If he is so bad, why bother trolling Philander articles? "And let's not mention his performances in England" Well let's mention it. 12 wickets @ 23.66, (including a fifer at Lord's and the best figures in series) friend you have just made yourself look bad, there! It's certainly clutching at straws when one starts including TOUR matches stats as part of one's assesment! Didn't he miss the second test in Aus? One bad match in his career(1st test in Aus) followed by a good comeback in the third and suddenly he's horrible. Oh wait, you probably didn't watch the series, did you?

Posted by aahahaa on (January 5, 2013, 18:43 GMT)

so ? is Marchant fit ...if not how about Morris

Posted by C.A-SA1987 on (January 5, 2013, 15:15 GMT)

@Muhammad Usman: Dude, are you serious? Please rather focus on your own country, as opposed to trolling over here...

It's all relative at the end of the day: As long as big Vern is bowling better than his opposite number, then we're happy (because inevitably there will be conditions where all fast bowlers struggle, not just vern).

Insofar as i'm aware, Vern (12wkts @ 23.66) definitely out-bowled Anderson (9wkts @ 40.66) in England (and we all know what Anderson did to India in their own backyard) and after one very bad game in Aus, Vern finished off well in the last test.

I guess that means that england and aus should drop all of their bowlers, since we smashed all of them??? (this is according to your logic)

Dont forget, Vern hits a decent long ball as well.. Useful coming in at 8.

Come on dude, show some objectivity please. Let's have educated debates, not mud-slinging contests.

Posted by sasi on (January 5, 2013, 10:21 GMT)

vern is like sturat clark just better, no aussie was complaining about his pace back then, he wont have a problem in asia, stuart clark was ok there, u just need to find the right length, having said that only time will tell.

Although an SA fan i must admit that our 2nd string bowlers are pretty thin, compared to the convicts and poms..

Posted by SurlyCynic on (January 5, 2013, 9:55 GMT)

Have to laugh at everyone saying Philander got 'thrashed' in England. Guess they wrote his name on the Lord's Honours Board by mistake then?

The fact is that SA now have 3 bowlers who all take plenty of wickets, and Kallis and Peterson still chip in with a few. So noone can get 5-fers all the time, better for the team but less wickets for Steyn or Philander on some occasions.

Posted by   on (January 5, 2013, 8:15 GMT)

Philander please bowl only on SA pitches because else where you will get thrashed as we have already seen you in ENG and AUS. This is the better way to make your bowling average good. SA should drop philander when they tour overseas.

Posted by Robster1 on (January 5, 2013, 5:01 GMT)

With the very promising De Lange currently injured would Kyle Abbott be the next in line after Kleinveldt ?

Posted by   on (January 5, 2013, 4:39 GMT)

@Bigboodha and one has to wonder just how bad Australia is. You intimate that he is a second string bowler. Yet the AU did not win that 1st test one would think they would have walked it.Taking into considering they had Rory as the other bowler. The ausies could not finish SA and did not bat out SA. The Ausies front line bowlers, or are they 2nd string could not bowl out 9 men sa. It is incredible when you think about the fact they twice bowled at a 1 man short batting line and still not win that test. They could not do it in the next match either with a crocked Kallis. As for the last test well the least said the better.

Posted by TheBigBoodha on (January 5, 2013, 2:10 GMT)

If I may rain on your troll parade for a moment, TommytuckerSaffa, as we saw in Australia, SA's second string bowlers are not even test class, let alone "äll class". It took Vern 5 innings to get a wicket in Australia (OK, let's say "4 and a bit'', as the 2nd innings vs AUS A was rather short). Let's hope he doesn't play there too many times there on his way to that 100 wickets, or it could be a long, long time in the making. And let's not mention his performances in England, or the fact that he will eventually have to bowl his 125 km/hr medium pacers in the subcontinent or the WI, where the tracks are flatter than your forehead.

Posted by   on (January 5, 2013, 1:25 GMT)

Philander is turning into Pat Cummins or James Pattinson!! :)

Posted by SirViv1973 on (January 5, 2013, 0:48 GMT)

Well you can't argue with his stats although he hasn't played a single test in Asia yet where I think he would struggle. However my biggest fear for him is his weight he just seems too big to support his action. It's generally the fit fast bowlers who look after themselves who have long test careers. Just look at SAF 4 leading wicket takers Donald, Pollack, Ntini & Steyn, there wasn't an an ounce of fat on any of them. I think a lot of Shane Watson's problems have been caused by him carrying too much weight & I also think Flintoff's persistent injury problems & early retirement from the game were mainly down to the same thing. Ravi Rampul is another who may struggle to stay fit and bowl quickly if he isn't able to shed a bit of timber.

Posted by StaalBurgher on (January 4, 2013, 23:35 GMT)

de Lange is actually ahead of Kleinveldt in the pecking order, but he is still injured from what I understand. As for Big Vern... his record speaks for itself. It may not stay quite as awesome as it is now over the rest of his career but you can't argue with what he has done. He might not be fast but he puts the ball in the right place 90% of the time and gets just enough movement in and out. It works. Anyone that denies that the success he has had needs to have their heads examined.

Posted by sasi on (January 4, 2013, 23:28 GMT)

wat happened to de lange, he could be morne and steyn rolled into 1 kinda bowler. hsome give me an update on him

Posted by Shan156 on (January 4, 2013, 23:13 GMT)

I think Philander is a better bowler than Pattinson and Steyn is great as well. But, too early to say if they are as good as Glenn McGrath. Re:TommytuckerSaffa's comment, yes, Steyn was fastest to 300 wickets but SA are yet to unearth bowlers of the class of McGrath or Warne. SA bowlers are excellent and the best in the world atm but they have no one in their history who are as good as McGrath or Warne. These two gentlemen were the best.

Posted by JBaloch on (January 4, 2013, 23:02 GMT)

Take some rest buddy.. we dont want to be facing you in the next test series.. take some rest and get well in a couple of months.. you are too good to be bowling at capetown man.:)

Posted by   on (January 4, 2013, 21:45 GMT)

Hard to compare as Philander is bowling together with Steyn, the best fast bowler! Always easier to bowl if the other bowler is putting the pressure on!

Posted by C.A-SA1987 on (January 4, 2013, 20:57 GMT)

@BharathRajeswaran.. Are you simple or simply blind to very hard and fast statistics?

You can talk trash all you want my friend, but cricket is a game driven by statistics.

Refer to TommytuckerSaffa for some stats around Vern.

Noone overhypes him, his bowling and actual real-life figures overhype him.

Let's talk about Pattinson when he is actually able to bowl a ball.

Posted by BeeArr on (January 4, 2013, 20:03 GMT)

Philander as everyone overhypes him is not a patch on someone like James Pattinson!

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (January 4, 2013, 19:21 GMT)

Big Vern fastest to 50 wickets in over 100 years. Soon to be fastest to 100 wickets. Dale Steyn joint fastest to 300 wickets with m.mashal (faster than Warne or McGrath).

S.A. bowling - all class.

Posted by Expat2 on (January 4, 2013, 18:08 GMT)

My replacement preference would be Marchant de Lange had he been in the squad. Well done Proteas

Posted by Dale_Pain on (January 4, 2013, 17:28 GMT)

Forget Kleinveldt - use the injury to blood in a youngster.

Posted by Kirstenfan on (January 4, 2013, 16:00 GMT)

By 'came back well in his second Test in Adelaide' you mean he got no wickets in the 1st innings, bowled a whole lot of no balls and had 1 great spell where he got 3 wickets...he had better be significantly better than his thoroughly underwhelming performances so far if he is going to be any kind of replacement for the big Vern

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