South Africa's Vernon Philander (2nd L) celebrates with
teammates after taking the wicket of New Zealand's BJ
Watling on the first day of the first test in Cape Town.
Good news has been in small supply for New Zealand on
their South African tour, but they got a dose of it today.
Ace seamer Vernon Philander has been ruled out of the second
test, starting at St Georges Park on Friday.
The world's second-ranked bowler, and first test man of the
match, has a strained left hamstring and the diagnosis has a
seven to 10-day recovery period.
Philander, who took five wickets in his first 25 balls to set
up the first test demolition at Cape Town last week, is
replaced by burly Rory Kleinveldt, who will play his third
test, and first at home.
Kleinveldt will present his own problems for the New Zealand
batsmen, and impressed with one three-wicket burst against
Australia at Adelaide late last year, but with all due
respect he's no Philander.
A nervous Kleinveldt delivered 12 no balls on debut at
Brisbane, and again overstepped 11 times at Adelaide.
Pakistan arrive for a three-start series, which starts on
February 2 and that is Philander's targeted return date.
"We feel it's unlikely that he'll recover in time," South
Africa's manager, Mohammad Moosajee, who is also a medical
"With the Pakistan series less than a month away, it's not
worth the risk of aggravating the injury."
In 13 tests, Philander has taken a staggering 74 wickets at a
cost of just 17 runs each. He has now missed three tests in
his first 16 opportunities through injury - a knee problem
counted him out of the Boxing Day test against Sri Lanka in
2011, and he sat out the Adelaide test recently with back
South Africa's spinner, Robin Peterson characterised the loss
of Philander as "a huge blow".
"He's been a stalwart in the test team, his performances
speak for themselves, he's a critical part of our bowling
unit," he said.
That said, Philander and Kleinveldt are team-mates at the
Cape Cobras, fed off each other in terms of planning and
taking wickets, and Peterson said much would be expected from
An indication of the relentless nature of the Dale
Steyn/Philander/Morne Morkel/Jacques Kallis pace quartet at
Cape Town was revealed by New Zealand's batting coach Bob
He said it was not until halfway through the 14th over of New
Zealand's second innings that a ball was bowled down the
legside - taking into account New Zealand's wretched
19.2-over first innings, that's 32.3 overs into the match
before a stray delivery came a batsman's way.
In a bid to search for morsels of comfort, Carter pointed to
the third morning when century-maker Dean Brownlie and BJ
Watling batted through all but the last three minutes of that
"They are the No 1 and have been relentless wherever they've
played," Carter said.
"For an hour and 57 minutes we made them change their game
plan. They brought on Peterson early; Philander changed ends.
That's part of the mental plan we have to have. It's a great
opportunity for us to go at them."
Carter said the South African bowling philosophy towards New
Zealand hadn't surprised them.
"We know how they'd come at us. They were going to bowl
short, try and put some fear into us, then bowl full," he
"That's how they bowled in their last two series against
England and Australia. That was their pattern. So we knew
what to expect."
Coping with it in reality, however, presented significant
Carter noted a disturbing trend on the last three overseas
test tours. Having been well beaten by India in Hyderabad in
August, New Zealand fought back in Bangalore a few days
later, albeit still in a losing cause.
Then after being dusted in Galle in November, they bounced
back to beat Sri Lanka by 167 runs at Colombo in the second
test of that rubber.
"It's a little bit worrying that we've had a bit of a trend.
"It's a case that again we've got to pick it up, work hard
and mentally prepare ourselves for this battle," he said.
Peterson, for one, expects more from New Zealand on his home
ground, which he suspects would be the one New Zealand
players would be most at ease on.
"New Zealand showed in the second half of the Cape Town game
that they put up a bit of a fight," he said.
"That's the nature of Kiwis. What they might have lacked in a
player pool they make up for in their determination and a bit
of guts they put on the park.
"I'd expect them to be a little more at home at St Georges
than anywhere else in the country."
- David Leggat of the NZ Herald in Port Elizabeth