Vernon Philander says the recent ODI rule change that allows five fielders outside the 30-yard circle in the last 10 overs has had a big impact on the way bowlers approach that stage of an innings.
Philander was talking to the media ahead of Sunday’s second ODI against New Zealand in Potchefstroom after the home side won the first game on Wednesday in Centurion by 20 runs.
The ICC changed a few rules after the World Cup in February and March this year, and one of them was to allow five instead of just four fielders outside the circle in the last 10 overs.
‘The extra fielder out on the boundary helps massively, Philander admitted. ‘It gives you more options at the back end where you can bowl your slow-ball bouncers or your faster bouncers because you have an extra guy out.
‘I think it’s a touch more difficult now to line up certain shots because you can plan a leg-side field or an off-side field and stick to what you have been training. You can probably mix it up a bit more. The extra fielder definitely gives the bowler more freedom.’
Philander also admitted that South Africa’s ‘leaked’ bowling plans, which ended up in the wrong hotel room the night before the game, was a real mistake.
‘It’s a mistake that he’s made (Prasanna Agoram, the Proteas performance analyst),’ Philander confirmed with a chuckle.
‘Hopefully the New Zealanders read it and thought about it. For us as cricketers, we’ve played against these guys a lot so that you go with your instincts on the day.’
With a packed international season ahead, Philander said he was excited to be back in the team.
‘It’s a big year coming up for us as a team. Especially starting with this one, we would like to win series at home. India and England is going to be big later on in the year.’