Opening bowler Vernon Philander has been ruled out of the second Test between South Africa and Sri Lanka starting at St George’s Park on Thursday.
South African coach Ottis Gibson said on Tuesday that Philander, who did not bowl in the second innings of Sri Lanka’s one-wicket win in Durban last weekend, had a grade one hamstring tear, which would keep him out of action for 10 to 12 days.
Gibson said uncapped all-rounder Wiaan Mulder would be considered as a “like for like” replacement, depending on conditions.
Gibson defended South Africa’s tactics during a world record last wicket winning stand of 78 between Kusal Perera, who made 153 not out, and number 11, Vishwa Fernando.
“I didn’t see that happening, to be honest,” said Gibson of his team’s defeat, “but credit has to go to them, particularly Perera.
“I thought our tactics were spot on. We threw everything at him and he withstood all of that. We tried spin, we bowled over the wicket, we bowled around the wicket, we bounced him, we tried to york him.
“He rode his luck early on but then he settled down. That’s the nature of sport. When somebody has a day like that, when it happens to you it’s tough to take but you have to give him credit for the way he played.”
Gibson said there was no talk of revenge as South Africa tried to square the two-match series. “There’s no focus on revenge, our focus is on playing a little bit better,” he said.