The Castle Lager Proteas enter the new year with the hope of finishing off their Test summer on a good note in the third Sunfoil Test match against the West Indies starting at Newlands on Friday.
A win will cap off a successful season for Hashim Amla and his troops, with series wins in Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe in the bag.
A series win will also ensure that the Proteas finish No.1 on the ICC Test rankings at the end of season cut-off date, as the focus shifts to the limited-overs format from next week.
“The boys are looking forward to this one,” Vernon Philander said on Thursday. “It’s obviously a place where we like to play and the boys are all geared up.
“The guys are always motivated when we come to Cape Town,” he said. “It’s a great venue, the boys love playing here. It’s getting another opportunity in the new year.”
Philander has taken 31 wickets at an average of 16.70 at the ground where he made his debut against Australia in 2011, and hopes to continue with his good form in livelier conditions.
“I haven’t had a look at it,” he said of the pitch. “Newlands always has something on day one and two, it’s nothing new. From our side, we just want a good cricket wicket with a little bit of pace and bounce coming from PE.”
The bowlers have performed well as a unit throughout the series, adapting and supporting each other in their respective roles.
“For me it’s about going out there and doing the same things,” Philander said. “Results-wise you are not always going to get the same. As long as I do my processes week in week out the same I’m not too worried about the results.
“We need to take 20 wickets as a unit and in each game someone else will blossom. Sometimes you get a stint where you are the main guy taking the wickets and sometimes you have to do the supporting role. I think for me it’s important to play a part in the team in every match that we play.”
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James was the full-time Media Manager at Yorkshire County Cricket Club between 2007 and 2010.
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