Philander not firing on all cylinders yet

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Philander picked up a serious ankle injury before the second Test against hosts India in November, and marked his return to first-class cricket with match figures of 2/32 against the KwaZulu-Natal opposition.

“I want to get back to 135 km/h or faster, but the pace is not my first priority. It is my bowling action, my landing and my rhythm. I’m not (100 %) there yet,” he said.

Arthur Turner, agent of Philander at One World of Sport, says there is no certainty yet about Philander returning to English county Nottingham, but another county is interested in signing up the South African all-rounder.

Philander has taken 126 wickets in 41 tests. In his previous test, the first against India, he produced useful figures of 1-23 and 2-38 and played the holding role excellently.

Kagiso Rabada, Morné Morkel, Dale Steyn and Philander will almost certainly compete for three fast bowling spots in the South African team when the Test series starts against New Zealand in August.

The Cape Cobras off-spinner Dane Piedt has the inside lane to be inserted as slow bowler for that series.

The other option would be that South Africa could select six specialist batsmen and five bowlers, which will require the selectors to scrutinise the form of Philander, Wayne Parnell and Chris Morris as all-rounders more closely.

Philander needs more matches to improve his bowling fitness. And he said as much. “Ultimately I get bowling fit by spending time in the middle,” he added.

African News Agency

Original source: Philander not firing on all cylinders yet

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