32-Year-Old All Rounder South Africa Nickname: Pro
January 10, 2018 Vernon Philander News
RotoWire Fantasy Analysis
Philander snapped up six for 42 off 15.4 overs including four maidens and was named Man of the Match in South Africa's first Test against India.
With Dale Steyn knocked out thanks to a heel injury, South Africa's seam attack was reduced to just three, but thanks to the work of Philander, they were able to dispatch India for just 135 in the final innings in 42.4 overs. The six-wicket haul was his first since taking six-fors in back-to-back matches in March 2012 against New Zealand and this was his 12th fifer in 89 innings. If Philander can stay fit throughout the tour and moving forward, he can be the missing link to South Africa's already frightening pace attack.
Vernon Philander: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
Fantasy AnalysisPhilander hasn't played since July when he suffered a stomach bug, followed by a bout of back spasms that have plagued him over the past three months. Philander's form has never been called into question, but his inability to stay fit has been a problem throughout his career, knocking him out of contention for the recently-finished Test series against Bangladesh and has made his place in the South Africa international squad a toss-up.
Fantasy AnalysisThe talented allrounder is a key cog in the Test squad, with seven half-centuries with the bat and a whopping seven four-fors and 11 fifers including a pair of 10-wicket hauls. While it was initially seen as a short-term injury that might not have even kept him out of the fourth Test at the beginning of August, this injury has lingered much longer than anticipated. The Proteas quicks have been ravaged by injury of late, but Philander's expected return for the second Test will be a boon as his fitness has always been a question mark about his career.
Fantasy AnalysisPhilander has been experiencing lower-back spasms in the lead-up to the fourth and final Test of the series and will be assessed on the morning of the match. The 32-year-old missed much of the third Test thanks to a stomach problem that morphed into a viral infection. "Vernon at 100% fit means we can look at playing three seamers and play seven batters. Vernon at 90% doesn't mean you can play three seamers because you don't want to be in a position where you have a seamer break down and then you only have two bowlers, because that is basically the Test match over right there," said Faf du Plessis, the South Africa captain. Philander is the Proteas' third-highest wicket-taker in the series with 10 wickets from three matches.
Fantasy AnalysisPhilander got the Proteas going early with the wickets of opening batsman Alastair Cook and Keaton Jennings within two overs of each other, leaving England 17/2. Cook fell victim to a lazy back-foot push to the off side that found it's way into the hands of South Africa keeper Quiton de Kock. Jennings went 13 balls later after he was trapped lbw, though television cameras show if he would have reviewed the decision would have been overturned as the ball pitched outside leg stump. The 32-year-old medium pacer claimed his third and final wicket of the day after he pinned England keeper Jonny Bairstow plumb in front on the back foot. This marks a positive return to Test cricket for Philander. In SA's series against New Zealand in March he took only two wickets in three matches.
Fantasy AnalysisThe allrounder was a bit disappointing with the bat, mustering just 20 runs, but more than made up for it with the ball, picking up double-strikes in the 41st and 43rd overs to end Sri Lanka's innings on 110. Philander has made an absolute meal of Sri Lanka's batsmen this series, taking a five-for in the first Test and he now has 10 wickets in the first three innings of the series, though his bat hasn't had quite the same success of late.
Fantasy AnalysisDavid Warner for one, Usman Khawaja for four, Adam Voges for zero, Joe Meanie for 10, and Nathan Lyon for two, that is the destruction that Philander caused. The 31-year-old allrounder bowled Australia out for just 85 runs, their lowest total at home in 32 years. While most people would think that five for 21 would be Philander's cheapest five-for ever, the South African has a history of taking low-run five-wicket hauls, against the same opposition in Cape Town in 2011 he took five for 15 in just seven overs and in 2013 against New Zealand, again in Cape Town, he snagged five for seven in six overs!
Fantasy AnalysisHaving only made a total of 242 on what appeared to be a good batting pitch, South Africa looked in trouble when Australia passed 150 without losing a wicket. However, Philander and the South African bowlers fought back strongly, cleaning up the Australian middle and lower order to restrict the home side to a lead of just two runs. Philander finished with the figures of four wickets for 56 runs from 19.2 overs bowled.
Fantasy AnalysisPhilander was chosen instead of Kyle Abbott in the do-or-die match, and the former seemed out of form, giving up nine boundaries, including two sixes, versus 28 dot balls. The performance bumped Philander's figures to four wickets for 33.75 and an economy rate of 4.73 across four World Cup matches. With no international fixtures imminent, he may not make his presence felt until the Proteas' tour of Bangladesh in July, giving the allrounder distance from the Grade 1 hamstring strain that forced three consecutive absences during the tournament.
Fantasy AnalysisCaptain AB de Villiers has opted for the allrounder over pacer Kyle Abbott, meaning the fifth bowler's overs will be spread among two or three of the Proteas. Philander's last of three World Cup appearances on Mar. 12 followed a three-game absence to heal from a Grade 1 hamstring strain. So far in the tournament, he's taken four wickets for 20.75 at an economy rate of 4.04.
Fantasy AnalysisEasing into action for his first appearance since Feb. 22, Philander didn't bowl a spell longer than four overs, which was the correct tactic in the end, as he recorded 36 dot balls while yielding five boundaries. His presence pushed Kyle Abbott, owner of eight wickets in Philander's absence, to the subs. Nevertheless, Philander's economical bowling all but ensures his place in the playing XI once the knockouts begin next Wednesday.
Fantasy AnalysisPrior to the game, Philander passed the fitness test required to play. However, his left hamstring tightened up during warmups, and the Proteas opted to keep Kyle Abbott in their XI, AFP.com reports. Philander's final opportunity to take part in group play arrives Thursday against the UAE.
Fantasy AnalysisAfter sustaining a Grade 1 hamstring strain on Feb. 22, Philander was handed a recovery timetable of 7-to-10 days, which has been fulfilled. However, the powers that be intend to be conservative with his return because South Africa is closing in on a spot in the knockout stages. Philander's success in New Zealand -- he's taken six wickets at a 15.83 average and 4.22 economy rate in four ODIs -- could earn him a place in the Proteas' XI on Saturday, if he proves fit.
Fantasy AnalysisPhilander sustained a Grade 1 hamstring strain on Feb. 22, which was accompanied by a recovery timetable of 7-to-10 days. Because the upper bound has already been reached, he should push Kyle Abbott back to the reserves due to their results on the year. In five ODIs, Philander has taken 10 wickets for an 18.90 average and 5.25 economy rate. Conversely, Abott has made four such appearances, grabbing eight wickets for 22.38 while giving up 5.51 runs per over.
Fantasy AnalysisLimited to four overs during Sunday's loss to India, Philander missed the bulk of their innings to receive treatment on his left hamstring and later produced a duck when he entered the crease. Prior to the match, he was treated for stiffness in the hamstring, so news of the ailment wasn't entirely out of the blue. Nonetheless, Philander has been ruled out for Friday's game against the West Indies, and his status is in peril for next Tuesday's match versus Ireland. Expect his spot in the Proteas' XI to be filled by one of the reserve fast bowlers, Wayne Parnell or Kyle Abbott.
Fantasy AnalysisPhilander was limited to only four overs during Sunday's loss to India, as he left the field to receive treatment on his left hamstring and only returned to bat during the Proteas' innings. After undergoing scans Monday, he was ruled out for Friday's match, which will force another change to their upcoming XI. If they opt to keep Wayne Parnell around after his disastrous turn Sunday -- one for 85 off nine overs -- Farhaan Behardien is the logical candidate to reenter the order.
Fantasy AnalysisAfter four wicket-free overs at the beginning of India's innings, Philander left the field to receive treatment and returned for a brief time after the first drinks break. However, he didn't field for the majority of the opposition's time in the crease, before hitting into a duck after two balls at No. 8. His availability for Friday's outing against the West Indies won't be known until his health receives some clarity.
Fantasy AnalysisPhilander tied down the Zimbabwean batsmen, conceding just 3.75 runs per over and only allowing three fours in his eight overs, and started things off well, by knocking over Zimbabwean opener, Sikandar Raza for just five. Philander now has 11 wickets in his last four ODIs and also took a catch to power South Africa to a victory, which was closer than it may seem.
Fantasy AnalysisIf the warmup was an officially sanctioned ODI, the 57 would've topped Philander's previous high score of 23 and he's not normally known for his batting, making just four runs from his sole dig against the West Indies in January. In his three matches against the West Indies, Philander took eight wickets at 17.50, with a relatively expensive economy rate of 5.83, above his career rate of 4.61. As a third seamer behind Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel, Philander looks to be someone who will play a key role this World Cup.