Philander misses warm-up match against Lions
South Africa are hopeful Vernon Philander will recover in time for the first Test at Lord’s, which starts from July 6 © Getty Images
Vernon Philander will sit out South Africa’s three-day warm-up match against the English Lions in Worcester as he continues to recover from an ankle injury sustained during a county stint at Sussex. However, South Africa are hopeful Philander will recover in time for the first Test at Lord’s, which starts on July 6.
“Vernon is in the final stages of his rehab following the injury to his right ankle two weeks ago. He is building on to bowl at full pace by the end of the week to prove his availability for selection for the first Test match against England at Lord’s next week,” Mohammed Moosajee, South Africa’s team manager, said.
Philander’s unavailability takes the number of big names absent from the tour match to three. Test captain Faf du Plessis is in South Africa awaiting the birth of his first child and may not return to the UK in time for the opening match while coach Russell Domingo returned home for a family emergency and there has been no word on his return. This is set to be Domingo’s last series in charge as his contract expires at the conclusion of the tour and he is understood not to have reapplied for his job. Assistant coach Adi Birrell, bowling coach Charl Langeveldt and batting consultant Neil McKenzie remain with squad for now.
South Africa have made contingency plans in case du Plessis is unavailable. Titans’ opening batsman Aiden Markram was included in South Africa’s Test squad as cover but Theunis de Bruyn played ahead of him in the warm-up match. Chris Morris was chosen over Andile Phehlukwayo in the bowling allrounder’s role, a suggestion that if Philander is not fit in time for the first Test, Morris could make a comeback. Dean Elgar will stand-in as captain.
Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo’s South Africa correspondent
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Via:: Cricket – ESPN