CAPE TOWN - Former Proteas all-rounder Vernon Philander has joined the masses in calling for Kyle Verreynne to picked across "all formats" for the national team.
Verreynne, 23, has been the centre of a social media storm after being left out of the Proteas T20I team for the recent series against Pakistan. The Proteas lost the series 3-1.
Mark Boucher's team were admittedly without five regulars that are on duty at the Indian Premier League. Furthermore, captain Temba Bavuma and Reeza Hendricks were ruled out through injury and paternal leave prior to the series, while another senior batsman Rassie van der Dussen missed the first two matches at the Wanderers due to the injury.
This, however, left the public even more confused about Verreynne's omission throughout the T20I series, particularly when a previously uncapped Wihan Lubbe was drafted into the starting line-up and players such as Andile Phehlukwayo and Pite van Biljon were not required to bat or bowl.
Boucher explained Verreynne's omission in terms of that "Kyle was selected as a back-up 'keeper to Heinrich Klaasen and if there was an issue with our top three, then Wihan Lubbe was going to take over.
"We lost an opening batter, who we replaced with Aiden Markram. Our number three, being Rassie, was injured and he [Lubbe] came into that position."
The debate further intensified after the final T20I, though, when the Proteas made two changes to the lineup with another debutant all-rounder Wiann Mulder and left-arm spinner Bjorn Fortuin coming into the side for Van Biljon and Beuran Hendricks, leaving the team with just four specialist batsmen. South Africa were promptly bowled out for 144 in 19.3 overs.
This was the final straw for Philander, who took to social media after the series defeat.
"Kyle Verreyne should be playing all formats including T20's. He makes scoring look way too easy no matter the format. Give him some time and he will become a household name," he posted on Twitter.
Kyle Verreyne should be playing all formats including T20's. He makes scoring look way too easy no matter the format. Give him some time and he will become a household name. Some of our highveld players will find scoring tough in sub-continent👆 #T20worldcup— Vernon Philander (@VDP_24) April 16, 2021
Philander, who watched the entire series closely as a commentator for SuperSport, went further by indicating that the Proteas should be preparing for a T20I World Cup in India later this year and the form shown by particularly the batsmen during the Pakistan series could be misleading.
"Some of our highveld players will find scoring tough in sub-continent #T20worldcup," Philander said.