Vernon Philander has only minimal concerns about the pink ball
South African fast bowler Vernon Philander, who is on his comeback path to the national team after recovering from a lengthy injury lay-off, expressed concerns over the tendency of the pink ball to become extremely soft after a short usage but added that he was in favour of day-night cricket being played with the pink ball as far as the necessary changes are made with regards to improving the life of the ball to be used in such matches.
Philander is part of the South Africa A side that is currently taking on Australia A in a match that is being played with the pink ball in order to give the visiting players a taste of the balls conditions with the Proteas set to take on Australia in a day-night Test at the Adelaide Oval during their tour Down Under later this year.
While Philander himself, along with Dale Steyn and AB de Villiers had initially expressed unwillingness to play pink-ball cricket, the fast bowler’s first experience with the new ball seems to have changed his thoughts.
"The pink ball is a bit similar to the Duke, except that when we got past 30 overs, the ball got extremely soft. That's the only negative about it," Philander said, adding that he was looking forward to the day-night Test in Adelaide. "We are all excited about the pink-ball game, and as long as we can improve the ball, we will have a good future with the pink ball."
Whether Philander gets picked for the series remains to be seen but he is certainly making all the right noises after making his comeback from injury. He did well for the South Africa A side during their tour of Zimbabwe earlier this month picking up four wickets in two matches and on a day that Australia A score 302 runs from 88 overs, Philander proved extremely miserly, conceding only 32 runs in his 17 overs while also picking up a wicket.
"The ball came out well in patches for me. I bowled really in the morning and this afternoon and let it slip a little towards the back end, but all in all, I am happy with my performance," he said.
As the senior member of the side, Philander offered support to his fellow bowlers claiming that they did well considering the lack of practice heading into the tour and promised a much better showing during the remainder of the series.
"The boys bowled well in patches. There was a lack of preparation coming over here with us having two days of practice and having to turn around," he said. "Australia played out of their socks, but our focus will be on getting the other five wickets and then letting the batsmen do their thing."