Vermeulen gears up for pace barrage

HARARE - Recalled Zimbabwe batsman Mark Vermeulen reckons there is never been a better time in his revived international career than to test his mettle against South Africa’s vaunted pace attack.

The Proteas boast the number one Test bowler in the world in pace spearhead Dale Steyn, who is expected to unleash his fiery best in the seam-friendly conditions of Harare Sports Club starting on Saturday.

Vernon Philander is ranked fourth in Tests with 16th-rated Morne Morkel completing a formidable three-pronged pace battery, described by Vermeulen as the best in the world.

“Dale Steyn to me is the best bowler in the world at the moment,” said Vermeulen, who enjoys the challenge of facing up to pace bowling.

“In the first 10 overs he (Steyn) gets the batsmen to face a lot of swing. Then with the old ball, he gets the ball to reverse swing. He is the best in the world at doing that. 

“(Vernon) Philander is a consistent seam bowler who bowls good line and length.

“(Morne) Morkel hits the deck hard and bowls at pace. He is a fierce bowler to face.

“In terms of three-pronged attack, South Africa have the best three pace bowlers in the world.”

Vermeulen was recalled this week, six years after he was cleared of arson on psychiatric grounds after setting fire to the national union’s headquarters and an academy building.

He was cleared in a court in 2008 despite admitting setting fire two years earlier to the union offices at Harare Sports Club and an academy pavilion at another location.

He had argued he was suffering from problems related to epilepsy caused by being hit on the head by a ball during a game.

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