The 32-year-old headed back home to attend the birth of his first child after their unsuccessful Champions Trophy, but will not be able to fly back to England in time for the opening game. "We've got all the faith in Dean".
In addition two senior batsmen; Hashim Amla and JP Duminy have been inconsistent in the a year ago, all of which serves to increase the pressure on stand-in skipper Dean Elgar and the middle order of Temba Bavuma and Quinton de Kock. We're a settled unit now. Our focus is not on one particular player. Besides his superb skill, Philander brings a forthrightness to the squad offering clarity following a few weeks in which there's been little of it for the South African team.
Opening batsman Dean Elgar - who has seven Test centuries to his credit - will lead the team and become the 12th player to captain South Africa since their readmission to worldwide cricket in 1992.
"He is just a phenomenal talent". "I always find it's a wicket-taking option, when it gets flat here you can use the slope to run it back in, similarly when there is movement. We'll probably make his job as easy as possible".
Philander has recovered from the ankle injury he sustained earlier this month, and returns to a happy hunting ground which holds fond memories.
"I'm ready to go".
The infamous Lord's slope can prove a problem for visiting bowlers but the experience of Philander and Morne Morkel should prove useful to rising star Kagiso Rabada, the third member of a talented pace attack missing the injured Dale Steyn. "It can play on your mind if you're not used to it. I'm excited about working with him for the next couple of days as captain".