Cricket

India vs South Africa: Tough start to Test Championship but South Africa would want to take on 'big dogs' India at home, says Vernon Philander

  • Press Trust of India
  • September 29th, 2019
  • 14:16:33 IST

Vizianagaram: South Africa pacer Vernon Philander wants the team's senior players to take responsibility and throw the "first punch" at "big dogs" India in the upcoming three-match Test series starting 2 October.

The opening Test against India will mark the start of South Africa's ICC World Test Championship campaign and Philander said it is going to be a tough battle first up.

Vernon Philander had suffered a grade one hamstring tear during the first Test at Durban. Reuters

Vernon Philander picked up two wickets against the Board President's XI in the warm up match. Reuters file photo

"It's a tough start playing India in India but I don't think the South Africans would have wanted it any other way take the big dogs in their home ground," he was quoted as saying by the ICC.

"All of us are looking forward to this challenge and there are a lot of player-to-player challenges as well."

It will be first Test series for South Africa since the retirements of experienced players such as Hashim Amla and Dale Steyn.

"Spotlight will be on a lot of big players to make a statement. Our job is to come here and give the first punch as India is obviously expected to do well," said Philander after the conclusion of the final day of the practice game.

"We are known as a team who starts slow so this time around we have to start well. There is a lot of pressure on players (but then) it's international cricket and you want to keep it that way."

Philander, who had picked up 15 wickets during South Africa's last Test series against India in 2018, wants the senior players to leave behind a legacy for the youngsters.

"We have lost some senior players and there are new players coming in and we want them to learn quickly.

"Hopefully we can use the experience of the senior players that are still around and mold this into a good Test side for the years to come. That's the most important part, to lay a good foundation for players to take forward," he said.

Philander, who made his Test debut in 2011, geared up for the opening Test by taking two wickets and scoring 48 during the drawn three-day warm-up game between Board President's XI and South Africa.

"It's always good to have some time out in the middle. Fortunately for me, I came here a couple of days earlier to join the A side to get a bit of a game time," said the 34-year-old, who has taken 214 wickets at an astounding average of 21.64.

"Mainly it's just about getting a feel for the wickets. It is going to be a tough series, obviously, so the more time you spend out there in the middle, the better."

Talking about the World Test championship, Philander said: "The Test championship brings in a new dimension. It is a new sort of excitement for players. Also knowing that you will be playing against top teams more often (is great).

"We are obviously prepared to do well. When we do well, it gives you that better confidence and I'll take that confidence with me. It's been a long winter for me and I am feeling in really good nick.

Updated Date: September 29, 2019 14:16:33 IST

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

South Africa vs England: I had coronavirus without knowing it, admits Proteas coach Mark Boucher
First Cricket News

South Africa vs England: I had coronavirus without knowing it, admits Proteas coach Mark Boucher

Boucher was speaking ahead of limited overs series against England, which starts with the first Twenty20 international in Cape Town on 27 November.

South Africa vs England: Three Proteas cricketers isolated after one tests positive for COVID-19
First Cricket News

South Africa vs England: Three Proteas cricketers isolated after one tests positive for COVID-19

CSA said about 50 COVID-19 RTPCR tests on players and support staff were conducted prior to entering the bio-bubble here for the limited overs series, starting on 27 November.

Star India acquires CSA media rights till 2024 for bilateral series, domestic men's franchise matches in South Africa
First Cricket News

Star India acquires CSA media rights till 2024 for bilateral series, domestic men's franchise matches in South Africa

This will be a first for Star India for a non-India bilateral cricket tournament to be produced in Hindi, in addition to the English feed.