IND vs SA: We want to regain No.1 Test ranking, says Vernon Philander

Updated: Jan 23, 2018, 08:27 IST | PTI

South African pacer Vernon Philander has shot off a warning to India, saying the hosts would not lower their guard in the third Test starting here tomorrow as they eye a series whitewash.

SA pacer Vernon Philander
SA pacer Vernon Philander

South African pacer Vernon Philander has shot off a warning to India, saying the hosts would not lower their guard in the third Test starting here tomorrow as they eye a series whitewash. South Africa have taken an unassailable 2-0 lead against India in the three-Test series and Philander said they would settle for nothing less than a 3-0 result.
"It is just another game of cricket for us, but we do want to win each and every single game we play. So, it doesn't matter that the Test series has already been won, we want to win all three matches," said Philander.

"The emphasis is on preparation, and doing it well today and tomorrow. We want to win this Test as well. "There are no dead rubber games for us. We want to prepare as well as we can and be ready for Wednesday. We want to regain the No.1 Test ranking and so we want to win each and every single Test. There are no dead rubbers when we play," he added.

Green top likely in Jo'burg
A green-top is expected at the Wanderers, in keeping with the tradition here. More importantly it will be vastly different than the Centurion pitch. "I haven't looked at the pitch yet, but normally there is pace and bounce at the Wanderers. Our roles always differ on different types of surfaces. I play with understanding of my role in the side. Last game I had to keep it tight from one end. So I haven't looked at this one yet, but my role will change if conditions present themselves," Philander said.

"It helps you understand the role you play. You want to keep it as tight as possible and want to bowl them out as cheaply as possible. That's the aim of every cricket game and the role of every bowler in a four-pronged attack is different. You deliver what's required of you," he added. There is a lot of talk about South Africa playing with an extra batsman but Philander said there were slim chances of an all-seam attack, leaving spinner Keshav Maharaj out. "Playing an extra batsman won't change things where I bat at No.7 or 8. I still have to contribute with bat and ball, and it won't make any massive difference to me as a player," he said.

'Enjoying the challenge'
"You always have to put pressure on yourself and have a sense of pride in what you do. It is a big responsibility to bat at No.7 and you have to take on the challenge. It worked well in England but at home conditions are different. I enjoy this challenge," he said. Philander heaped praise on spinner Maharaj, describing him as a strike bowler.

"Keshav Maharaj has done a massive job for us. Not only in this series but previously as well. He keeps it tight but make no mistake he is a strike bowler for us. He picks up vital wickets at key times," he said. "When you come to the Wanderers, seamers are mainly the attackers here. Obviously I cannot answer whether we are playing without a spinner here. But it will be a good wicket and a good Test coming up."

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