SA vs IND 2018: We are not playing just Virat Kohli, says Vernon Philander

Vernon Philander doesn't think Newlands wicket is going to scare anyone.

Kohli is India's main hope with the bat in the Test series. (Getty)

The  'Freedom Series' between India and South Africa is set to begin tomorrow in Cape Town, and talks about the players from both sides have already begun, especially about Indian dashing batsman and skipper Virat Kohli. However,  Proteas pacer Vernon Philander doesn’t think that way.

Many believe that the South African camp will especially prepare for world-class batsman Kohli, who is currently in prolific form with the bat, but Philander feels it is more about the 11 players and not only about Virat Kohli. 

As per a report in Cricketnext, Vernon Philander told reporters in Cape Town, “We are going to play bat and ball and not playing any names. We got to get Virat as to other nine Indian batsmen as well. I think we put our price obviously on bowling them out twice. They have played most of their games at home so it’ll be interesting to see how they go in South Africa. It’s a total different ball game. We’re going to have to wait and see once they pass the first Test match.”

Commenting on the Newlands wicket, Philander said, “I wouldn't say it's greener. I have played all my life here. I've seen a lot of similar wickets and they haven't done much. Obviously, there's a little bit of grass there but I don't think it's going to scare anyone. Look I think, there's a little bit of grass. The day is obviously hot. Tomorrow is hot. I think by the time the Test match starts, it'll be little drier."

He further added, “The wicket changes quite quickly here. Depends on the type of wind that blows here as well. By Friday morning, it'll be a totally different looking wicket. Look I think, there's obviously some grass on that wicket. Then we've got to put a combination that's going to take 20 wickets on there. How we are going to go about it, obviously we have to go and plan and work accordingly.”

On being asked if South Africa would go with three-seamer, Philander said: “I think, it's going to come down to the conditions at the end of the day. Obviously, with a little grass on the wicket, who knows on Friday morning if the overheads are playing in favour, then you might consider four-seamers.

But at the end of the day, our composition of 3 seamers and 1 spinner has worked very well in the last sort of 18-24 months. Look I think it's a good dilemma to have when you have all your fast bowlers fit and bowling well in all three formats. You obviously are going to know that you have your work cut out for you. If you’re going to go in with three seamers, it just means that you obviously have to bowl them out. You’ve got to go with that mindset of taking wickets. But it’s still two days out (to the Test) so we’ll see where the wicket is at on Friday morning.”

He concluded by saying, “Look I think if we want to play best cricket we have to go to do that in every series we participate in. 2015 was obviously disappointing one losing them (India). But look, at the end of the day we want to make sure we play our best cricket, and obviously being at home we want to make sure we deliver.”



By Rashmi Nanda - 04 Jan, 2018

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