• Virat Kohli not a concern for Proteas pacer Vernon Philander

    With the pitches expected to offer pace and bounce, the Indian team will be relying heavily on their pace unit.

    Vernon Philander
    Vernon Philander. (Photo by Shaun Roy/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

    Indian skipper Virat Kohli is unarguably one of the hottest properties in world cricket. Having a player of Kohli’s magnitude in a squad can change the entire dynamic of the squad. The dynamic right-hander is inexplicable with the willow. And after taking over the captaincy reigns, he has proved that he is equally able to lead a team.

    The Indian team, under the tutelage of Kohli, enjoyed an extremely successful home season. The Men in Blue culminated 2017 as their best calendar year in terms of the number of wins bagged. Playing 53 matches across all formats, India has won 37 matches, lost 12 and drew 4. And with Kohli leading the team with such valor, the upcoming South Africa series has been billed as a contest between the Kohli and the Proteas.

    Philander not to focus on specific individuals

    However, South African speedster Vernon Philander begs to differ and opined it is more about the 11 players in the team than individuals. Speaking to the media ahead of the first Test, Philander said that the team was aiming to win the game and not focus on any specific individuals.

    He said as per quotes on News 18, “We are going to play bat and ball and not playing any names. We got to get Virat as to other nine Indian batsmen as well. I think we put our price obviously on bowling them out twice. They have played most of their games at home so it’ll be interesting to see how they go in South Africa. It’s a totally different ball game. We’re going to have to wait and see once they pass the first Test match.”

    With the pitches expected to offer pace and bounce, the Indian team will be relying heavily on their pace unit. However, Philander says he has seen more grass before and the hype doesn’t work for him as Cape Town has been his home ground. Keshav Maharaj has been another find for South Africa in recent times and Philander feels the spinner will be a revelation, who will have an important role to play as well.

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