The following from news24:-
"Proteas coach Ottis Gibson on Tuesday hinted that uncapped all-rounder Wiaan Mulder could step in for the injured Vernon Philander when the second Test against Sri Lanka starts at St George's Park on Thursday.
Gibson was commenting after it was confirmed that opening bowler Philander had been ruled out of the Test.
Gibson said 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 Mulder would be considered as a "like for like" replacement, depending on conditions."
There are two issues here - namely in the first case - the potentials election of Mulder to replace Philander. Gibson sees something in Mulder which many people fail to see, Fact is that Mulder really started to show up regularly in SA squads when Gibson took over coaching. The jury is out on whether he is capable of delivering the goods. There can be no doubt that Mulder on provincial level is performing much better than he used to do.
The second issue relates to Philander. After an injury lay-off since about August 2018 Philander came back into the test squad and bowled in 6 innings, In the 6th one he got injured again and is now out wth the same injury that has plagued him for years - in fact he did not bowl at all on the fourth day of the Sri Lanka test, From a bowling perspective Philander -
* remains an extremely good bowler as to accuracy and clever variations makin for good stats In the 6 innings he actually bowled in he bowled 67 overs giving away 202 runs and taking 8 wickets- by all accounts acceptable figures indeed; but
* it is evident that his pace has gone down by circa 10 kmh compared to what it used to be - he is now bowling at 120 to 130 kmh as against the 128 to 136 he used to bowl.
The injury issue is the real negative and one wonders whether it really is worthwhile to keep a player around with constant injury problems.