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Vernon Philander ruled out of the Cobras opening game due to injury

Philander is the second seamer to be ruled out of the first-class game after speedster Dale Steyn, who was also sidelined due to injury concerns.

Vernon Philander
Vernon Philander of South Africa. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

South Africa’s premier fast bowler Vernon Philander will not be available for the opening game of the first-class fixture in the African domestic circuit. Philander is an important member of the Cobras side and his absence will be a serious concern for the team. The Proteas pacer is currently in the final stages of rehabilitation from the back injury, which he sustained during the recent Test series in England.

Philander is the second seamer to be ruled out of the first-class game after speedster Dale Steyn, who was also sidelined due to injury concerns. Philander was also ruled out of the 4th Test against England at Old Trafford because he was suffering from lower-back spasm. The right-arm pacer claimed 10 wickets in the 3 Tests and also scored 177 runs. He played a vital role in the 2nd Test claiming a five-wicket-haul and scoring 54 and 42 runs respectively, which eventually helped his side in winning the Test by 340 runs.

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Questions regarding Philander’s fitness

After the 3-1 series lost in England, many Proteas cricketers questioned Philander’s fitness and the injury concerns, which is sidelining the cricketer from representing the national team. Former Proteas captain Graeme Smith had his queries regarding the fitness and the future career of the fast bowler and also termed that his “career is at the stake”.

In reply, Philander was not at all okay with the former captain’s serious comments and requested a meeting with Smith to answer the queries. Another member of the current South African side was not happy either with Philander’s fitness and injury concerns is the Proteas skipper Faf du Plessis.

“For us to have competed and to win Test matches we needed Vern, you need your best players,” he told reporters following South Africa’s first Test series loss in England since 1998. Faf also stated that he had advised Philander to work on his fitness for the betterment of South African cricket.

“It is a challenge for Vern because it’s happened too often that he doesn’t play a full series. I’ve spoken to him about that and he’s accepted the challenge and that he needs to improve that,” Faf explained.

The first game of the domestic season will be the only four-day game for the South Africa side, as the preparations for the home series against visiting Bangladesh team is scheduled later this month. Philander is also a likely starter for the first Test against the Tigers.

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