South Africa have lost star pace bowler Vernon Philander ahead of the crucial second Test against Sri Lanka. The fast bowler is suffering from a hamstring strain and the team management has indicated that uncapped Wiaan Mulder may replace him in the second Test.
South Africa coach Ottis Gibson stated that Vernon has a grade one hamstring strain, and this is the last Test match of the summer. He noted that a grade one is 10-12 days, which rules him out of this Test match.
But at the same time he made it clear that there is still a lot more cricket – Momentum Cricket and stuff – so he supposes that’s where the pace bowler will play his cricket for the rest of the summer.
The right-arm pacer has been one of South Africa’ premier pace bowlers in the recent times. He has claimed 214 wickets in 58 Tests so far at an astonishing average of 21.64.
The team management hasn’t given any confirmation on Philander’s replacement but Gibson indicated that uncapped Mulder might make his Test debut.
He stated that Mulder was in the original squad as well, and he went and played a game for Lions and he’s back now with the team.
Gibson explained that they will look at the conditions and the pitch and make the best decision for the team. The South Africa coach feels that the right-arm pacer would be a like-for-like replacement for Vernon. So that’s something they will consider as well.
The hosts lost the first Test against Sri Lanka courtesy of Kusal Perera’s incredible and gutsy knock of 153 not out. The second Test of the series starts from February 21.
South Africa’s squad-Faf du Plessis (captain), Hashim Amla, Temba Bavuma, Theunis de Bruyn, Quinton de Kock, Dean Elgar, Zubayr Hamza, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, Wiaan Mulder, Duanne Olivier, Kagiso Rabada, Dale Steyn.