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Senior players should throw first punch at India: Philander

By The Assam Tribune
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VIZIANAGARAM, Sept 29: South Africa pacer Vernon Philander wants the team�s senior players to take responsibility and throw the �first punch� at �big dogs� India in the upcoming three-match Test series starting October 2.

The opening Test against India will mark the start of South Africa�s ICC World Test Championship campaign and Philander said it is going to be a tough battle first up.

�It�s a tough start playing India in India but I don�t think the South Africans would have wanted it any other way... take the big dogs in their home ground,� he was quoted as saying by the ICC.

�All of us are looking forward to this challenge and there are a lot of player-to-player challenges as well.�

It will be the first Test series for South Africa since the retirements of experienced players such as Hashim Amla and Dale Steyn.

�Spotlight will be on a lot of big players to make a statement. Our job is to come here and give the first punch as India is obviously expected to do well,� said Philander after the conclusion of the final day of the practice game.

�We are known as a team who starts slow so this time around we have to start well. There is a lot of pressure on players (but then) it�s international cricket and you want to keep it that way.�

Philander, who had picked up 15 wickets during South Africa�s last Test series against India in 2018, wants the senior players to leave behind a legacy for the youngsters.

�We have lost some senior players and there are new players coming in and we want them to learn quickly.

�Hopefully we can use the experience of the senior players that are still around and mould this into a good Test side for the years to come. That�s the most important part, to lay a good foundation for players to take forward,� he said.

Philander, who made his Test debut in 2011, geared up for the opening Test by taking two wickets and scoring 48 during the drawn three-day warm-up game between Board President�s XI and South Africa here.

�It�s always good to have some time out in the middle. Fortunately for me, I came here a couple of days earlier to join the A side and to get a bit of a game time,� said the 34-year-old, who has taken 214 wickets at an astounding average of 21.64. � PTI

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Senior players should throw first punch at India: Philander

VIZIANAGARAM, Sept 29: South Africa pacer Vernon Philander wants the team�s senior players to take responsibility and throw the �first punch� at �big dogs� India in the upcoming three-match Test series starting October 2.

The opening Test against India will mark the start of South Africa�s ICC World Test Championship campaign and Philander said it is going to be a tough battle first up.

�It�s a tough start playing India in India but I don�t think the South Africans would have wanted it any other way... take the big dogs in their home ground,� he was quoted as saying by the ICC.

�All of us are looking forward to this challenge and there are a lot of player-to-player challenges as well.�

It will be the first Test series for South Africa since the retirements of experienced players such as Hashim Amla and Dale Steyn.

�Spotlight will be on a lot of big players to make a statement. Our job is to come here and give the first punch as India is obviously expected to do well,� said Philander after the conclusion of the final day of the practice game.

�We are known as a team who starts slow so this time around we have to start well. There is a lot of pressure on players (but then) it�s international cricket and you want to keep it that way.�

Philander, who had picked up 15 wickets during South Africa�s last Test series against India in 2018, wants the senior players to leave behind a legacy for the youngsters.

�We have lost some senior players and there are new players coming in and we want them to learn quickly.

�Hopefully we can use the experience of the senior players that are still around and mould this into a good Test side for the years to come. That�s the most important part, to lay a good foundation for players to take forward,� he said.

Philander, who made his Test debut in 2011, geared up for the opening Test by taking two wickets and scoring 48 during the drawn three-day warm-up game between Board President�s XI and South Africa here.

�It�s always good to have some time out in the middle. Fortunately for me, I came here a couple of days earlier to join the A side and to get a bit of a game time,� said the 34-year-old, who has taken 214 wickets at an astounding average of 21.64. � PTI