Philander not getting carried away by green Newlands pitch


South Africa seamer Vernon Philander says everyone should not carried away about seeing grass on the Newlands pitch a few days from the first Test against India.

The now 32-year-old Philander has played his entire career at the picturesque venue in Cape Town and expects the surface to settle down before the first ball of the series is bowled on Friday.

With talk that South Africa’s groundsmen has been instructed to prepare fast and bouncy pitches for India’s batsman, Philander is not paying to much attention.

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The right-arm seamer has a staggering Test record in Cape Town, having taken 38 wickets in seven games at an average of just more than 18 since making his debut at the ground in 2011.

Asked on Wednesday if the Newlands surface is greener than usual, Philander told reporters: “No, I wouldn’t say it’s greener.

“I have played here all my life. I’ve seen a lot of similar wickets and they haven’t done much. Obviously there’s a little bit of grass there but I don’t think it’s going to scare anyone.

“Look I think, there’s a little bit of grass. Tomorrow (one day before the Test) is hot. I think by the time the Test match starts, it’ll be little drier.

“The wicket changes quite quickly here, depending on the type of wind that blows as well. By Friday morning, it’ll be a total different looking wicket. “

Currently the number one Test team in the world having won nine series in a row, India now the opportunity to prove they can win away from home, especially on faster surfaces.

Philander was part of the Proteas squad that lost a Test series in India in 2015 and is looking to forward to playing on home soil.

The seamer added: “They have played most of their games at home so it will be interesting to see how they go over here in South Africa.

“It’s a total different ball game over here in South Africa so we’ll have to wait and see.

“We want to play our best cricket. 2015 was quite a different one going there and losing to them, but we want to make sure that we deliver at home on our own soil.”

By Nasri Alexander