3 January 2018

South Africa: Philander - Proteas Not Playing Against 'Names'

Proteas seamer Vernon Philander says the side is not placing any extra importance on the wicket of Virat Kohli ahead of the Newlands Test on Friday.

There has been a fair amount of talking in the build-up to what is the most highly-anticipated Test series in South Africa in over two years, and with India confident of securing their first series win in the country this time around, a lot hinges on how their skipper performs.

There is no doubt that, in Kohli, the visitors have one of the most destructive and naturally gifted players in world cricket.

He averages a staggering 53.75 in his 63 Test matches and while there is still an element of doubt as to how most of the Indian batsmen will cope with the South Africa conditions, Kohli's pedigree makes him a threat everywhere.

Yet, when asked about the threat posed by the Indian slipper, Philander was firm.

"We are going to play bat and ball, not any names," he said.

"We are going to have to have to get Virat out, as we do nine or 10 other Indian batters as well. We've put our prize on bowling them out twice and not focusing on who we are bowling against."

India have expressed confidence in their own seamers this time around and they have the firepower to finally win a Test series in these parts.

They had no trouble dismantling South Africa on Indian soil in 2015, winning 3-0 in spin-friendly conditions, but Philander knows that this series will pose different challenges entirely.

"They have played most of their games at home so it will be interesting to see how they go over here in South Africa," he said.

"It's a total different ball game over here in South Africa so we'll have to wait and see.

"We want to play our best cricket. 2015 was quite a different one going there and losing to them, but we want to make sure that we deliver at home on our own soil."

Source: Sport24

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