Forgot Password

 

Register

 

Create your Connect ID

This will allow you to login to all DStv websites & applications




or
Login using
x

Email Reset

 




Loading...
Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Cricket | SA Team

Philander ready to roll at Newlands



Vernon Philander, an integral part of South Africa's bowling attack, will be fit and ready to play when the two-test cricket series against New Zealand gets underway in Cape Town on Wednesday.

“At the start of a new test series, your pattern of play is always crucial and, from a bowling perspective, Vernon has an important part to play in attack,” Proteas' captain Graeme Smith said on Tuesday.

“To have him fit is important – not only because he is a wicket-taker for us but because he also performs other roles which are crucial to the success of the team. He came through his fitness test well and, unless he stiffens up overnight, he's fit to play.”

Smith confirmed that the rest of the squad was fit and said the team were all “good to go.”

Starting 2013 ranked as the No 1 test team in the world, and facing a New Zealand side ranked only above Bangladesh, Smith was quick to dismiss the series as a waste of time and said his side were not going to just sit back and revel in their 2012 success.

“We've recently played New Zealand, in New Zealand, and it's not as easy as everyone thinks. You've still got to go out there and play the game,” he said.

“If we can win – and win well – well that's what we're here to do. There's an immense respect for the game of cricket in our team and we need to respect our opposition and we know there are some quality players out there.

“We have been inconsistent at home over the last few years and we would like to put that right and this is our opportunity to do so.”

While much has been made of the repeated omission of Thami Tsolekile, AB de Villiers will keep wicket during the series, despite his back problems.

“It's tough on Thami but it's important he gets one clear message and I know that Gary has been in touch with him throughout,” said Smith.

“It's a pure cricketing decision in terms of getting the balance of the team right. Thami has come a long way since we played SA schools together and it's great to see him go back to domestic level cricket and keep performing so well.”

In a two-test series, there was less room for error and Smith said they needed to start well and looked forward to playing in front of a home crowd at one of their more consistently successful grounds.

“Everything seems to fit well when we come to Newlands, he said.

"Our preparation is always good and the support we get in Cape Town is always terrific.

“When you have a good record at a ground, you immediately arrive with a certain confidence and understanding of how you need to go about things.

"We know what to expect when we get to Newlands and that helps us get the results.”

Recalling the test against Australia in November 2011, when the visitors were dismissed for a dramatic 47 at Newlands, Smith said he was not expecting a repeat performance and said the wicket had a little bit of moisture in it which his bowlers hoped to use to their early advantage.

“It will be a typical Newlands wicket with a bit of moisture on day one and two. As it gets hotter over the five days, it generally becomes a good batting strip and takes a bit of spin but certainly, in the morning tomorrow, it will be tough to bat.”

While the final XI would be decided before the toss, there would be no surprises when stalwart Jacques Kallis, currently on 12980 test runs, becomes only the fourth batsman in the world to reach the 13 000-run milestone and Dale Steyn bags his 300th test scalp – requiring just one more wicket to do so.

Shop

The Proteas
20 Years, 20 Landmark Matches by Neil Manthorp
R171.00
The extraordinary book of SA cricket
The Extraordinary Book of South African Cricket is the perfect gift for any cricket fanatic.
R140.00
Jackers - A Life in Cricket
Robin Jackman has been entertaining cricket followers for more than forty years
R169.00
Bouch
Through my eyes
R147.00


Comments

More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Sports Talk



Neil Manthorp
AB brightens gloomy mood at home
AB de Villiers admitted that there had been one or two awkward moments during the first ODI against...

Kepler Wessels
The Proteas keep marching on
As expected the Proteas defeated New Zealand in emphatic fashion here in Mount Maunganui in the...

Faf du Plessis
Unfamiliar territory in NZ
Greetings from Mount Maunganui in New Zealand. Where, you might ask, and you wouldn’t be alone. I...

Haze's Comment
South Africa's team culture is exceptional
The chronicled KP allegations have highlighted the necessity and importance of changeroom decorum....

Mpumelelo Mbangwa
Any lessons to learn from the KP saga?
The saying goes: "what happens in the changeroom stays in the changeroom" and there are variations...