South Africa paceman Vernon Philander on Wednesday cautioned India of the challenges when the two teams face off in the opener of the three-Test rubber at Newlands here from Friday. India had no trouble dismantling South Africa on home soil in 2015, winning 3-0 in spin-friendly conditions, but Philander said he knew that this series will pose different challenges entirely. “They have played most of their games at home so it will be interesting to see how they go over here in South Africa,” he told reporters here.
“It’s a total different ball game over here in South Africa so we’ll have to wait and see. “We want to play our best cricket. 2015 was quite a different one going there and losing to them, but we want to make sure that we deliver at home on our own soil,” he added. Ahead of the tour, India have expressed confidence in their own seamers, saying they have the firepower to finally win a Test series in South Africa. Philander also said that the hosts are not placing any extra importance on the wicket of India skipper Virat Kohli as the visitors aim of securing their first series win in the country this time around.
Kohli averages a staggering 53.75 in his 63 Test matches and while there is still an element of doubt as to how most of the Indian batsmen will cope with the South Africa conditions, Kohli’s pedigree makes him a threat everywhere. Yet, when asked about the threat posed by the Indian slipper, Philander was firm. “We are going to play bat and ball, not any names. We are going to have to have to get Virat out, as we do nine or 10 other Indian batters as well. “We’ve put our prize on bowling them out twice and not focusing on who we are bowling against,” he concluded.