Vernon Philander Hopeful to Deliver with Bat in Ram Slam T20 Challenge
After returning to the domestic cricket, South African Test specialist Vernon Philander revealed he had enjoyed his time with the bat since past 18 months, adding he is aiming to play an integral role after sweating it out in nets.
“I have enjoyed my batting over the last 18 months. I have invested a lot of time into it,” Philander told Cape Times.
Since July, this year, the 32-year-old prominent face in the Proteas set-up, Philander was ruled out of the two-match Test series at home after nursing lower-back spasm which he picked on England tour in Manchester.
On the other side, Philander, who is focusing on the five-day format in the top-flight cricket, played his last 50-over fixture in August 2015 against New Zealand and this time around would wear the Baggy Blue for the Cape Cobras.
“White-ball cricket is there to express yourself and hopefully I can bring my part,” Philander said.
The professional domestic Ram Slam T20 Challenge will kick off with the opener on Friday night (November 10) at Port Elizabeth between JJ Smuts-led Warriors and Theunis de Bruyn-led Knights.
Philander, who is adamant nature-wise, remarked he has loved to play the limited-overs cricket which has been subsequently his fascination and favorite format to rely on.
“White-ball cricket was always a part of my game that I enjoyed,” Philander maintained.
The premium fast bowler Philander hinted he had been labeled as a red-ball cricketer while being away from the limited overs cricket.
“Sometimes when you go off the white-ball scene for a little while, it is almost as if they label you as a one-format player,” Philander added.
As Cobras would be strengthened by the inclusion of experienced Philander, who reiterated he would give his hundred percent to yield desired results for Cobras owing to his all-round skills.
“I certainly can contribute with bat and ball, which gives the team options, because we can either play the extra batsman, bowler or all-rounder,” Philander further added.
Earlier, the Proteas seam bowler Philander played his last international Twenty20 fixture in December 2007 against West Indies after making his international debut in June 2007 when he faced Ireland at Belfast.
With Philander enjoying out his intense net session alongside the Proteas teammate Hashim Amla followed by Temba Bavuma, Justin Ontong, and JP Duminy.
“So, it is exciting to play for the Blues again and hopefully over the next six weeks we can do something special together,” Philander remarked.
After the rehabilitation programme, Philander made his return in the first class fixture for Cobras in October.
“It is great to be back wearing the Baggy Blue. Being back with the boys, guys you have grown up with, and watched how their careers developed over time,” Philander concluded.
In 2009, Cape Cobras, were the part of the inaugural edition of the Twenty20 Champions League when they qualified for the semi-final.
However, they went on to lose the game against Windies-based domestic outfit Trinidad and Tobago.
With much-awaited series scheduled to kick off in January 2018 against India, Philander would be obviously the first choice as the Proteas was depleted by multiple injuries in the recent past.
Tahir Ibn Manzoor
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