Johannesburg, Jan 23: South African pacer Vernon Philander has insisted that the third and fil Test match against India is not a ‘dead-rubber’ as they aim to replace the visitors at the top spot of the world rankings.
A 3-0 series win will take South Africa level with the visitors at the top of the ICC Test rankings, though India will remain first by a decimal point. Then the four-match series against Australia in March will provide an opportunity for South Africa to topple the Asian giants by the April 3 cut-off date, according to the Cricket South Africa (CSA) website.
Ahead of the third Test, which starts at the Wanderers Stadium here on Wednesday, Philander on Monday said: “We want to win each and every Test match that we play. There is no dead-rubber game for us, we will prepare as well as we can over the next two days to make sure we are ready come Wednesday. There are no dead-rubbers when we play any team in the world.
Philander said that following the four-day break, the players are feeling fresh and ready for the third Test.
“It is always hard work when you play back-to-back Test matches,” he said of the break. “A four-day break suits everyone well, to go back and refresh and to get yourself up and going for the last match. All the players took some time away from the game, spent some time with the families to make sure we are ready for this one.”
South Africa won the first Test by 72 runs in Cape Town and the second Test by 135 runs at the Centurion, riding on the pace bowlers’ superb performance. Philander talked about his role in the four-pronged pace attack.
“Your role will always change on different surfaces. I have played this game long enough to understand my role within the side. In the last game I had to make sure I kept it tight on the one end and allowed the others to strike. I haven’t had a look at the conditions here (Wanderers) but I will adapt as the conditions present themselves,” he said.
“It is about understanding the role that you play within the attack. We are four seamers so we want to keep it as tight as possible and bowl them out as cheaply as possible. It’s about finding your role in the four-pronged attack and making sure you deliver what is required of you,” he said of bowling in a four-seam attack. IANS