Soft pink ball bothers Philander


Proteas seamer Vernon Philander expressed concern about how quickly the pink kookaburra ball becomes soft after using the ball for the first time in South Africa A's clash with Australia A.

Philander is returning from an injury and looking to regain form and fitness ahead of the Proteas clash with New Zealand in August.

The quick said said after play: "The pink ball is a bit similar to the Duke, except that when we got past 30 overs, the ball got extremely soft. That's the only negative about it,

"We are all excited about the pink-ball game, and as long as we can improve the ball, we will have a good future with the pink ball."

South Africa will play a pink ball Test on their end of year tour to Australia but only agreed to the match after Cricket Australia offered two practice matches and one match on this 'A' tour.

Philander took 1 for 32 from 17 overs, and was content with his continued comeback: "The ball came out well in patches for me. I bowled really in the morning and this afternoon and let it slip a little towards the back end, but all in all, I am happy with my performance."

It remains to be seen if Philander can earn a place in the Test team, he faces stiff competition from Morne Morkel, Dale Steyn, Chris Morris and uncapped, Andile Phehlukwayo, with Kagiso Rabada at this stage the only bowler who looks to have his spot in the Proteas team nailed down.

Philander expects the bowling attack to get better as the series goes on, building vital depth for the Proteas.

Philander continued: "The boys bowled well in patches. There was a lack of preparation coming over here with us having two days of practice and having to turn around,

"Australia played out of their socks, but our focus will be on getting the other five wickets and then letting the batsmen do their thing."