Home > News >

South Africa pacer Vernon Philander fit for first Test against New Zealand

South Africa

Vernon Philander during a training session ahead of the first Test © Getty Images

Cape Town: Jan 1, 2013

South African opening bowler Vernon Philander is “provisionally fit” for the first Test against New Zealand starting at Newlands on Wednesday.

“He’s come through his fitness test well,” said captain Graeme Smith on Tuesday. “Unless he stiffens up later today or tonight he’s fit to play.”

Philander has not bowled in a match since breaking down with a hamstring strain in a franchise match 12 days ago.

Smith said South Africa were eager to get into action in their first home match since taking the number one world ranking during an unbeaten run of nine Test matches on foreign soil.

“The team has taken big steps forward in 2012,” said Smith. “We’ve travelled a lot in the last year. It was hostile, it was tough. Hopefully now we can play the same style of cricket in South Africa with home support.”

Smith said he was happy with South Africa’s preparation.

“The way the guys have trained this week has been intense. We’ve had five days together and the work rate has been good. It’s great to sit in team meetings and listen to how the guys want to take the team forward and not rest on our laurels.”

Asked about the controversy which led to former captain Ross Taylor withdrawing from the New Zealand squad, Smith said: “It’s obviously not ideal. Ross is a key player for them and a big man around the squad.”

He said being on a tour gave the New Zealanders time to bind together as a team. “They have an opportunity to fight and they have nothing to lose in this Test series.”

Smith said the South Africans had respect for New Zealand, who they defeated 1-0 in a three-match away series during their successful run in 2012.

“They’ve come here knowing (captain) Brendon (McCullum) is a really gutsy player and they will want to compete and get the most out of this Test series. If they do well it will be a big tick in his box.”

The South Africans had an intensive video session on Monday, studying the New Zealand players.

“There’s a lot of respect,” said Smith. “We’ve recently played New Zealand in New Zealand and we understand it is not as easy as everyone expects. You’ve got to go out there and play the game.”

Smith commented for the first time on the omission of Thami Tsolekile, the only black African in their Test squad in Australia, who had been expected to take over the wicketkeeping role from AB de Villiers during the New Zealand series, only for De Villiers to keep the gloves after telling team management he was happy to combine the role with that of being a key batsman.

“It’s important that Thami gets one clear message,” said Smith. “I know that (coach) Gary (Kirsten) has been in touch with him. From what I understand it is a pure cricketing decision about the balance of the team. Obviously it’s tough on Thami.” 

World T20 League 2014

Sep 23, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Raipur

World T20 League 2014

Sep 24, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Hyderabad

World T20 League 2014

Sep 25, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Bengaluru

World T20 League 2014

Sep 26, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Mohali

World T20 League 2014

Sep 26, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Mohali

More

World T20 League 2014

Sep 22, 2014  at Bengaluru

Chennai Super Kings won by 54 runs

World T20 League 2014

Sep 21, 2014  at Hyderabad

Kolkata Knight Riders won by 4 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 21, 2014  at Hyderabad

Hobart Hurricanes won by 6 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 20, 2014  at Mohali

Kings XI Punjab won by 4 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 20, 2014  at Mohali

Perth Scorchers won by 6 wkts

Photos

Cobras vs Hurricanes Match 6 at Hyderabad

Videos

Daniel Flynn looks ahead to Hobart game

Champions League T20 (CLT20) 2014: CSK sends clear signal to other sides by ravaging Dolphins

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) vs Dolphins, Match 8, CLT20 2014: Highlights

Mitchell Marsh: I thought that the match was tied against Dolphins

Hobart Hurricanes vs Northern Knights CLT20 2014 Match 9: Preview

Champions League T20 (CLT20) 2014: Kuldeep Yadav’s dramatic debut for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) shows he is one for the future

Asian Games Asian Games 2014 Cape Cobras Champions League T20 2014 Chennai Super Kings CLT20 CLT20 2014 Dolphins Hobart Hurricanes Incheon Asian Games India at Asian Games 2014 Lahore Lions

CLT20 2014: Bowlers need to perform better, says MS Dhoni

CLT20 2014: Cameron Delport nurtures hopes of playing in Indian Premier League

West Indies women developing well, says coach Sherwin Campbell

Jason Gillespie: Australia, New Zealand or South Africa favorites to win the ICC World Cup 2015

Makhaya Ntini looks forward to match at Mount Kilimanjaro summit

Hobart Hurricanes vs Northern Knights CLT20 2014: Northern Knights likely XI

Hobart Hurricanes vs Northern Knights, Match 9, CLT20 2014 – Hurricanes’ likely XI

Sorabji Colah: An outstanding slip fielder who never fulfilled his batting promises

Anandji Dossa – a life to cherish

Champions League T20 (CLT20) 2014: CSK sends clear signal to other sides by ravaging Dolphins

Fan of the Day

Edward Knowles

Edward Knowles

447 Posts | 1 Fans

Video: Brendon McCullum's amazing fielding in CSK vs Dolphins CLT20 2014 match

Rani Mukerji’s Mardaani beats Priyanka Chopra’s Mary Kom, wins the most impressive women-centric film title!

Ebola in Sierra Leone: Lockdown uncovered 200 infected

Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg’s comic book set to release this week

Shah Rukh Khan’s 8-pack abs sexier than Hrithik Roshan and Aamir Khan, think fans!

India second largest smartphone market by 2019: Study

Ebola in West Africa: UN mission team arrives to combat Ebola

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here