Image courtesy of: Zimbio
South Africa head coach Russell Domingo is excited about having two of the country’s premier pace bowlers – Morne Morkel and Vernon Philander – back for the upcoming Test series against New Zealand.
Morkel recently made a full recovery from a back injury that has kept him sidelined since last June, while Philander has overcome an ankle issue.
During his long road to becoming fully fit, Morkel was told that he would never be able to play cricket again, but he refused to listen and continued to work his way towards making his long-awaited comeback.
In addition to giving the Proteas an extra pace option, Morkel is one of the more senior bowlers in the Test squad and Domingo admitted that his presence will be vital as the younger bowlers can go to him to seek advice.
“We’re keen to have him back, Morne is a world class bowler and his rehab programme in the last three months have been very intense,” Domingo said. “He’s played a couple of one-day games for the Titans back home and it’s gone nicely, so we’re looking forward to getting him back in our group.
“To have a bowler with his experience and his class is massive for our younger players. So we want him back into the mix – he is a quality bowler.”
Philander’s return is also a good sign for South Africa as there have been whispers that the 31-year-old could play an instrumental role for the national team at the Champions Trophy in England in June.
“Vernon is fully fit, but obviously needs to be managed – like a lot of our bowlers,” Domingo conceded. “Good to have that type of calibre back in the mix.”
The three-match Test series between New Zealand and South Africa begins on March 8 in Dunedin.