Vernon Philander will play for Tygerberg Cricket Club against UCT on Sunday after recovering from a serious ankle injury.
Philander last played for South Africa in the first Test against India at the beginning of November last year. He sustained the ankle injury while playing a game of soccer as part of the warm-up ahead of the second Test and missed the rest of that series and the subsequent visit from England.
Tygerberg Cricket Club posted a photo of Philander on Facebook with the caption: ‘It is great to have Vernon playing for the club, even if it is just one game. All the guys are hyped up and raring to go and with Vernon being there it will surely make the guys play at their best,’ said club secretary Alnico Adams.
The match will be played at Florida Park, Ravensmead and will start at 10am.
Former Proteas bowling coach Allan Donald told the Cape Cobras website Philander needed to reclaim the nip and intensity which made him phenomenal when he first burst onto the scene.
‘Philander at his absolute best was a fantastic operator who bowled fuller than anybody else in the world bar Dale Steyn and when motoring at his optimum level of between 136 to 138 km/h, could seam the ball late both ways,’ Donald said.
‘But he has lost a bit of his nip and intensity, which accounts for the fact that his bowling form has statistically dipped.’
Donald said if Philander wants to reclaim that nip and potency which saw him capture 100 wickets in only 19 tests at a phenomenal strike-rate of 38.7 and an average of 17.77, he needs to play in the remaining Sunfoil Series matches and also find some rhythm if he features in the county series in the build-up to South Africa’s series against New Zealand in August.
Dr Mohammad Moosajee, team manager of the national team, said the serious nature of Philander’s injury which saw him miss seven Tests, won’t allow him to play consecutive weeks in the Sunfoil Series.
‘He has had a substantial ankle injury. We must make a call after the first outing and see how he responds. There is definitely a thought process of taking a break in between Sunfoil Series matches,’ Moosajee said.