Kent (England): Swing bowler Vernon Philander says he intends to use the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) T20 League to force his way into the South African team for the shortest form of the game.
The 28 year-old’s red-ball credentials are outstanding with 89 wickets in 16 Tests, reaching 50 wickets in the longest form of the game in just his seventh match.
However, Philander has been overlooked by South Africa’s selectors for the most part for short-form cricket with only eight One-day Internationals and seven Twenty20 Internationals under his belt.
“I have obviously not played a lot of white-ball cricket for South Africa. This tournament is a chance for me to step up in the shortest form of the game and I am pretty excited about it,” said Philander.
“I back myself in the shorter formats and want the opportunity at international level so if I can put my name on the board then that is what I want to do.”
Philander, currently playing with Kent Country Cricket Club, has been recruited to play for the Jamaica Tallawahs in the inaugural CPL from July 30 to August 24.
“I know the (Tallawahs) squad is linking up this week but I have got some more commitments with Kent and will not arrive until around the 29th (of July),” he said.
“But the good thing is I am playing matches for Kent, including plenty of Twenty20 games, and there is no better practice than playing out in the middle.”
Philander will have to adapt to Caribbean conditions which are not always regarded as wholly conducive to swing and seam bowlers of his type.
“The conditions will pose challenges and as I have not played in the West Indies before that is something I will have to get used to,” he said.
“It will be a case of getting used to the decks and bowling up front as quickly as possible."
The Tallawahs get their campaign underway with a clash against the Guyana Amazon Warriors at Providence Stadium on August 2.