Philander out to continue good form

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iol spt mar13 Vernie P AP Proteas bowler Vernon Philander will look to continue his impressive performances after his stellar display in the rain-affected first Test match against New Zealand last week. File picture.

Proteas bowler Vernon Philander will look to continue his impressive performances after his stellar display in the rain-affected first Test match against New Zealand last week.

It took just seven balls for him to claim his first wicket, Rob Nicol, who was caught at first slip by Graeme Smith, reminiscent of Philander's performances against Australia in South Africa's home series this summer.

Although New Zealand conditions are unfamiliar and can be challenging, Philander said he followed a simple routine.

“I still stand by my formula,” Philander said.

“I have one or two balls that I want to change but that is for me to work out over the next few days. The conditions over here are a touch slower than what we have back home. I think for me it is key to bowl it slightly shorter than what I usually do back home.”

Philander was happy with his use of the little movement was on offer in Dunedin, and was within one wicket of his fifth five-wicket-haul in as many matches during New Zealand's first innings.

“It was a pity that the rain came down on the final day. We obviously fancied our chances to take eight wickets on the day, but unfortunately rain had the last say.

“If there is movement, I am probably the one bowler that will exploit it. I always back myself to get something out of the wicket and with the new ball it is obviously a big plus for me.”

South Africa could no longer claim first place on the ICC Test Championship table, as they needed a series whitewash to do so.

Despite this, Philander said the team was still pushing for a series win.

“We would have loved to win it 3-0, but for us a series win is just as important. We are taking it one day at a time and one match at a time,” Philander said. – Sapa


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