Play Philander in Tests - Pybus
Cape Town - Cape Cobras coach Richard Pybus says all-rounder Vernon Philander should play for the Proteas in the Test series against Australia.
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Philander was recently included in the Proteas' Test squad for the two-Test series starting at Newlands next Wednesday. He is expected to fight it out with the Warriors' left-arm quickie Lonwabo Tsotsobe for the role of a third seam bowler.
Philander's inclusion in the squad is just reward for outstanding recent performances on the domestic scene. He was by far the most successful seam bowler in the four-day SuperSport Series over the last two seasons. He took 35 wickets at an average of 16.11 in seven matches last season. The previous season he took 45 wickets at an average of 14.73. His team - the Cape Cobras - were crowned champions in both those campaigns.
And Pybus told Die Burger newspaper that Philander is ready for the next step as he possesses all the necessary skills to be successful.
"He can swing the ball both ways and is a clever bowler.
"He is the Cobras' wicket-taker, but if he gets his chance in the Test team he would need to change his role to restrict runs, especially if the selectors decide to pick Imran Tahir instead of Paul Harris.
"The Proteas are in a lucky position to have (Dale) Steyn and (Morne) Morkel - both with the ability to take wickets and keep the runs down. Vernon has the skills to fulfil both roles," said Pybus.
Philander struggled when he last played for South Africa two years ago in a one-day series in England. He looked unfit and his fielding was poor, but seems to have worked hard to improve his game recently.
What also might persuade his inclusion ahead of Tsotsobe is the fact that Philander is a far better batsman, which could help nullify a potentially long South African tail.
Philander is currently playing for the South African "A" side in a four-day game against Australia in Potchefstroom. He took 2/63 in the Australians' first innings, dismissing Phillip Hughes and Ricky Ponting. He also scored 16 not out with the bat in the South Africans' first innings.