Sharjah - Vernon Philander could be the go-to quick bowler for coach Russell Domingo as the Proteas prepare for a tough five-match one-day international series against Pakistan, starting on Wednesday.
Philander has not played one-dayers recently, but with the 2015 ICC World Cup on the horizon, the national selectors are trying all the options to finally get a squad of players to do the business in Australia and New Zealand.
And if Philander, outstanding in the Test arena, can produce some magic on the limited overs scene, he could go a long way towards booking his ticket for the ICC global event.
The last time South Africa played an ODI series they were well beaten by Sri Lanka and the biggest worry for Domingo will be to find a way to get the team to play as a unit.
In Sri Lanka, when the batting came to light, the bowling was off-colour and vice versa. And the normally excellent fielding was also a problem.
Domingo believes the changes in the squad will help to make a difference in the United Arab Emirates.
“I hope the new faces here will bring new energy for us to turn things around - and we need to turn it around here. Tactically, we will do things a little differently in the batting and bowling combinations,” Domingo said.
A huge plus factor in the squad is the recall of Philander for the ODIs - he last played against Sri Lanka in Kimberley in November 2012.
“(With him) we know exactly what we are going to get in terms of lines and lengths when he is going to bowl up front with the new ball. The other plus is that he offers a bit of depth in the batting,” Domingo added.
“He brings doggedness, a lot of fight and character, so I’m hoping he makes an impact when he does play.”
Meanwhile, Pakistan have been bolstered by the return of Mohammad Hafeez (rated highly as a spinning all-rounder by the Proteas), Ahmed Shahzad, Nasir Jamshed and the big hitting Shahid Afridi.