After the recent spate of injuries to Proteas pacer Vernon Philander, South African skipper Faf du Plessis has expressed concern and dissatisfaction over the fitness of Philander.
“Vern needs to work on his fitness,” he said. “It’s happened too often he doesn’t play a full series and I have spoken to him about that and he’s accepted the challenge that he needs to improve.”
It may be recalled here that former skipper Graeme Smith, too had expressed concerns and said, “This whole series, it’s been a struggle to keep Vernon on the field.
It gets frustrating when you’ve got a senior player and an outstanding performer like him and fitness is becoming an issue. “It raises questions about whether he is fit enough to be picked in the first place.” Du Plessis responded post-match, saying: “It’s fair that you need to play a lot of cricket for your country and be available for selection. I think Vern will agree with that.”
Too many times the team has gasped, ‘Vern could be injured again’,” he added. “So he understands from a fitness point of view with important series coming up, Australia and India at home, he needs to be fit to get through all eight Tests.”
During the third Test, Philander was affected with a stomach bug. However, in the final Test, he was ruled out of action due to lower back spasms