Vernon Philander says Ottis Gibson has brought structure to the Proteas bowling unit.
Having replaced Russell Domingo as head coach of the Proteas, Gibson reshuffled his backroom staff. Malibongwe Maketa was appointed as assistant coach, Neil McKenzie was replaced by Dale Benkenstein as batting coach and Charl Langeveldt was relieved from his duties as bowling coach due to Gibson’s experience as the England bowling coach.
‘A full-strength England attack in England is a very good bowling attack,’ Gibson said on Tuesday. ‘This attack has [Dale] Steyn, [Morne] Morkel, [Kagiso] Rabada, [Vernon] Philander, Chris Morris and Keshav Maharaj, who is a world-class spinner, perhaps the best that the country has had for a long time.
‘It’s a world-class bowling attack and we just have to try and come up with the right combination to go and win this Test match.’
On Wednesday, Philander confirmed the green wicket at Newlands and his excitement about playing in front of a ‘sold out’ crowd. He also gave some insight into his new coach.
‘I only started to work with him from the Zimbabwe series, but I think he has a calm head on him and he knows what he wants from his bowlers,’ he said. ‘It’s good to have simple plans and a clear vision of what is expected of us as a bowling attack.’
Much has been said about the seamers but it is expected that the spinners will play a massive role as the pitch dries out. Maharaj is likely to start for the Proteas along with three seamers.
‘Keshav is a world-class bowler and he has been bowling well with the three seamers around him,’ Philander added. ‘He has a good record and has been performing well and I don’t see that changing.’
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