Cape Town - Vernon Philander marked his return
to the Proteas’ One-Day International (ODI) side with a
solid performance in Wednesday’s 20-run win against New Zealand at SuperSport
Park in Centurion.
Philander was rested for the series against Bangladesh last
month, and says he is refreshed and motivated ahead of a busy international
“I’m excited,” Philander said of
his return after the break.
“It’s a big year coming up for us as a team
starting with this series against New Zealand. We like to win series’ at home
and away but I think India and England are going to be big later on in the
year. As a squad we are excited about it; it’s another big challenge going to
India and playing England at home.”
The Proteas’ player management
strategy seems to be yielding positive results as seen by the strong
performances of Philander, Dale Steyn and Imran Tahir after breaks from their
Philander and Steyn started off the innings brilliantly
with control and intensity while Tahir worked his magic in the middle overs to
stave off the Black Caps’ onslaught.
This was Philander’s first ODI since
the ICC Cricket World Cup semi-final against New Zealand in March, and the
first time he has played under the new ODI rules implemented in June.
Proteas have been on target with some of the execution of their death bowling
tactics during the current series against New Zealand, with the new rules
giving the bowlers freedom to “mix it up more” says Philander.
“The extra fielder out helps massively,” he said.
“It gives you more options in the backend; you can bowl your
slower-ball bouncer or the hard bouncer because you have the extra guy out.
It’s a lot more difficult for the batsman to line up certain shots because
of that extra fielder. You can plan a legside or an offside field and execute
what you have been training.”