'Big Vern' returns to ODI side

Vernon Philander (File)
Vernon Philander (File)

Cape Town - Vernon Philander has made a return to the Proteas' ODI squad after an absence of a year-and-a-half from the format.

The Proteas announced their ODI and Test squads on Tuesday for the upcoming series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates, starting on October 14.

Philander, who has excelled in the longest format of the game was the notable inclusion in the 50-over side while the Test squad remained unchanged.

Proteas coach Russell Domingo said he hoped Philander - known for his consistency - would be up to the task in the limited overs game.

"Vern's strengths in Test cricket are his line and length and he would have to find more variation in the one day game," Domingo said of Philander, who last played an ODI in January 2012.

"It's not about just bowling 10 overs on off stump. I always judge a player's skill on how they are able to learn new things.

Vern has an unbelievable desire to do well."

While the Proteas lie atop the ICC Test rankings, they languish in fifth in ODIs.

With Jacques Kallis unavailable for ODIs until the India series in South Africa, convenor of selectors Andrew Hudson said there were a lot of young players coming through the ranks.

"This is an opportunity for new guys to put their hands up and compete for a place in the World Cup in 2015," Hudson said.

Meanwhile, Proteas Test captain Graeme Smith was pleased with his rehabilitation after having surgery on his ankle in May.

Smith said while his side had not played in six months, he still expected his team to perform well.

"Going to conditions that are foreign to what we're preparing on here, we just need to be smart in our preparation to be ready," he said.

"We need to make sure we get the basics right. We can't expect to be flashy after such a long break, and we're just trying to get the results."

The Proteas take on Pakistan in a two-Test series, before five ODIs and two T20 Internationals.

Test squad:

Graeme Smith (captain), Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Dean Elgar, Imran Tahir, Jacques Kallis, Rory Kleinveldt, Morne Morkel, Alviro Petersen, Robin Peterson, Vernon Philander, Dale Steyn, Thami Tsolekile

ODI squad:

AB de Villiers (captain), Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock, JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Imran Tahir, Ryan McLaren, David Miller, Morne Morkel, Wayne Parnell, Robin Peterson, Vernon Philander, Graeme Smith, Dale Steyn, Lonwabo Tsotsobe

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