Philander Returns To Strengthen South Africa Ahead Of Pakistan Visit
Vernon Philander has been named in South Africa’s squad for the first Test against Pakistan, which begins in Johannesburg on 1st February.
The 13-man squad is South Africa’s first choice one, with Ryan McLaren, who was called up as cover for Philander, who missed the final Test against New Zealand due to a hamstring injury, omitted. Rory Kleinveldt and Jacques Rudolph are expected to be the spare bowler and batsman in the party.
Convenor of selectors Andrew Hudson said of the squad: "We have given a full vote of confidence to the squad of 13 that did duty in the recent Sunfoil Series against New Zealand. Rory Kleinveldt and Jacques Rudolph will again provide the bowling and batting cover if necessary.
"At the moment there are no injury concerns. We are very happy with the job that Rory did against New Zealand when Vernon dropped out, while Jacques provides us with a lot of experience as the cover batsman. We have quite a few inexperienced batsmen in our top order and we feel that a bit of extra experience will be useful should the need arise."
The three-match series, which also sees matches in Cape Town and Centurion, sees the number one ranked Test side do battle against the side which did so much to knock England off the number one spot at the beginning of last year by whitewashing them in the UAE.
Pakistan named their squad for the three-match series earlier this month, with the uncapped quartet of Ehsan Adil, Nasir Jamshed, Mohammad Irfan and Haris Sohail all included.
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