By Velile Mnyandu


Former Proteas all-rounder Vernon Philander has called on the Pakistan players to remain grounded ahead of another potential explosive clash against New Zealand in the T20 Cricket World Cup at the Sharjah cricket stadium in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates at 16:00 on Tuesday. Philander who is now the bowling coach of the Pakistani national cricket team, was referring to the excellent performance of his team during the demolition of their arch-rivals India, a game they won by 10 wickets.


Pakistan had restricted India to 151 for seven and they replied with 152 without having lost a single wicket, with a lot of credit going to the opening partnership of Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam.


But Philander said now it’s time to forget about that result and look forward to the New Zealand clash who would be playing in their opening game in Group 2.


“Absolutely it’s a valid point you are making. We had a meeting earlier and highlighted the importance of really staying grounded. And last night was a massive win for all the boys.

“But we’ve also got a tournament obviously at hand and the boys will stay focused. Tomorrow’s going to be another big game. And hopefully the boys will reset and be ready and focused for tomorrow,” said Philander.

Philander a former all-rounder and seam bowler, retired in 2019 and migrated to Britain the following year after a career that saw him playing 64 Tests, 30 ODIs and seven Twenty20 internationals for the South African national team. He was appointed as a bowling coach for the Pakistani team in September 2021, replacing Waqar Younis and he is working with former Australian opener Matthew Hayden who is the head coach.


The 36year-old former Cape Cobras all-rounder is also demanding for some consistency from his bowling attack.


“Having played against Pakistan over the years as well, I think the big thing that has been lacking is probably a little bit of consistency. And we really want to highlight the intensity with which they play at.


“(Indiscernible) stepped up a gear, how they went about their business. For me it’s really about making sure you play with good intensity and you really can keep it there for a long period of time,” responded Philander when asked about the difference from that India game in their bowling attack.


Only the top two teams from the Super 12, advance to the semi-finals and there are two groups of six teams each.


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Twitter: @Velile_Mnyandu

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