Vern to make new cherry talk

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Vernon Philander (Gallo Images)
Vernon Philander (Gallo Images)
Galle - Striking early with the new ball will be a key modus operandi for the Proteas bowlers in the upcoming two-match Test series against Sri Lanka starting in Galle on Wednesday.

Proteas all-rounder, Vernon Philander, says the attack will have to box-smart in order to be effective in expected spin-friendly conditions.  
 
"The more damage you can do with the new ball the better," Philander said on Monday after training.

"You want batsmen five, six and seven batting against a newish nut. In these conditions you want to be striking with the new ball, our lines upfront need to get the batsmen to play.
 
"I wouldn't really say that lengths change, its more the line of attack," he said of bowling in the sub-continent. 

"You need to sit on that off-stump line, and make sure you get the lbw into the game, the wider ball becomes the knick-off. Hopefully we can adjust really quickly and assess conditions accordingly."
 
The weather conditions in Galle have been hot and humid with occasional showers, and could bring swing into the equation, a hopeful Philander said.

"There is a bit of moisture and overhead conditions around which will favour the swing bowlers," he said.

"We have to wait and see what the deck looks like tomorrow and on the morning of the Test."

Sri Lanka's spinners have a proud record at the iconic stadium and have accounted for the majority of opposition wickets in the past.

Rangana Herath is the second-highest wicket-taker at the ground with 48 wickets in nine matches, only behind the retired spin-king, Muttiah Muralitharan, who took 111 scalps in 15 matches.

"Spin is always a factor when you come to the sub-continent, that's why they prepare wickets to suit their bowlers," Philander said.

"He (Herath) is going to be a big threat, but our batsmen played him quite well in the last one-dayer in Hambantota, so hopefully we can continue to do so. 

"I'd like to see our guys stepping up against the spinners and playing them to the best of their abilities."

Philander says he has recovered from the viral infection which sidelined him for the last ODI on Saturday, and is raring to go despite the quick turnaround in formats.
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