Johannesburg: South Africa Test sensation Vernon Philander can become an important player for the Proteas limited overs team due to his ability to score some useful runs, according to senior cricket writer Rob Houwing. “Is Vernon Philander being pigeon-holed too rigidly as a Test cricketer only, as far as South Africa are concerned?” Houwing wrote in his column for Sport24.
“The 27-year-old’s glittering achievements with the ball in his first 12 Test matches (67 wickets at 17.98) will certainly have many enthusiasts around the world bemused that he is not currently in the Proteas’ T20 or ODI plans,” he added.
“It did make you wonder whether Philander’s ability to land the ball on a tickey, whilst generating movement either way, could yet be better employed in the limited-overs international environment,” he further wrote.
Houwing added: “He has only played eight ODIs and seven T20 internationals previously, and most of those appearances came some five or six years ago, well before he burst onto the Test scene so spectacularly.”
“There have been some arguments more recently that perhaps Philander is best cotton-wooled as a Test specialist, keeping him fresh and hungry for matches in that format, although that is a dubious theory,” he further wrote.
“Many cricketers globally only confirm, following Test prowess, that they can be equally formidable in the one-day arena, and the other way around,” he added.
“At the very least, Philander, who has also been reconfirming his ability with the bat in recent months, may start to challenge a fellow bowling all-rounder like Wayne Parnell, who is fairly fortunate to have kept a place in the Proteas’ T20 squad announced earlier this week to take on the visiting New Zealanders shortly,” he concluded.