England vs South Africa: Vernon Philander says Proteas raring to win final Test

Vernon Philander is confident both he and South Africa will be firing on all cylinders as they look to draw their Test series with England at Old Trafford.

AFP, Aug,02 2017

Manchester: Vernon Philander is confident both he and South Africa will be firing on all cylinders as they look to draw their Test series with England at Old Trafford.

Philander was unable to be at his best during England's 239-run win in the third Test at The Oval after being struck down by a mystery stomach virus which meant he could only bowl 32 overs in the match.

South Africa's Vernon Philander attends a press conference at Old Trafford cricket ground in Manchester, north west England on August 2, 2017, ahead of the fourth Test match against England. / AFP PHOTO / PAUL ELLIS / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. NO ASSOCIATION WITH DIRECT COMPETITOR OF SPONSOR, PARTNER, OR SUPPLIER OF THE ECB

Vernon Philander speaks at a press conference at Old Trafford ahead of the fourth Test match against England. AFP

What made it worse for the Proteas was that the overcast conditions appeared ideal for accurate seamer Philander, renowned for his ability to make the most of any assistance from either cloudy skies or a pitch with some 'juice' in it.

The man-of-the-match in the Proteas' second Test success at Trent Bridge, Philander even spent one night of The Oval match on a hospital drip.

The best South Africa can hope for now, at 2-1 down in this four-match series, is a share of the spoils.

And Philander is eager to play his full part when the Manchester fixture starts on Friday.

"It was either something I picked up or something I ate that really 'drilled' me for a couple of days," Philander told reporters at Old Trafford on Wednesday as he recalled his illness.

"It was a tough week personally, but I'm looking forward to this one," he added.

Philander was already unwell come the toss in south London but, with few other options at his disposal, South Africa captain Faf du Plessis decided a half-fit Philander was better than none at all.

In the end, the move did not pay off with the Proteas a bowler down at crucial stages of England's first innings in particular.

"I think it probably got a lot worse having to bowl after losing quite a lot of fluids," the 32-year-old Philander explained.

"The night in the hospital, being on a drip, really revitalised me. But then in the morning, it was (not good) again.

"Being on the loo for quite a bit, and having to go out to bowl, it was draining from a fluid point of view — because I couldn't really keep anything down.

"It was really bad, but I'm feeling a lot better now," Philander insisted.

Friday's match will mark the final fixture of a lengthy tour, by modern standards, that started in mid-May.

"We've got an honesty policy within the side, and we all admitted it wasn't our best Test match," Philander said of South Africa's display at The Oval.

"We let ourselves down with the bat in the first innings ... so we're looking forward to correcting those mistakes in this one and hoping to go level in the series."

But there was no denying the effect of Philander's restricted involvement at The Oval, with the all-rounder admitting: "Any sort of bowler, if you can't go at 100 percent and the conditions are suited for you as well ... it was really frustrating.

"I'm obviously quite an important part of the lineup ... and bowling at 70 or 80 percent I could feel that my intensity was missed.

"But there's no excuses. We lost a Test match ... and we need to step up come Friday."

The pattern so far has seen a heavy victory for one side followed by an equally dominant success for the other, with two large England wins falling either side of a massive 340-run victory for the Proteas at Trent Bridge.

"We hope the trend keeps going," said Philander.

"It's a bit of a rollercoaster at the moment, the way it's been going and the margins of victory and defeat.

"But the boys are ready for this one."

Published Date: Aug 02, 2017 | Updated Date: Aug 02, 2017

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 4969 124
2 South Africa 3888 111
3 Australia 4174 104
4 New Zealand 3489 100
5 England 4829 99
6 Sri Lanka 4058 94
Rank Team Points Rating
1 South Africa 6386 120
2 India 6680 119
3 England 6320 115
4 New Zealand 6404 114
5 Australia 6012 113
6 Pakistan 4811 96
Rank Team Points Rating
1 New Zealand 2262 126
2 Pakistan 2843 124
3 India 3385 121
4 England 2029 119
5 West Indies 2538 115
6 South Africa 2238 112