Du Plessis hails Philander as ‘new Kallis’
Nottingham, UK - South African captain Faf du Plessis said Vernon Philander was on the way to becoming the "new Jacques Kallis" after his man-ofthe-match winning display in a crushing 340-run win over England in the second Test at Trent Bridge on Monday.
Philander was in fine form with both bat and ball as South Africa won with more than a day to spare. He made valuable scores of 54 and 42 at No 7 before taking three wickets for 24 in ten overs as England, chasing a huge 474 for victory, collapsed to 133 all out in what was its heaviest Test defeat, in terms of runs, at Trent Bridge.
Now retired South Africa great Kallis was an outstanding all-rounder, scoring 45 Test hundreds and averaging more than 55. The lively paceman also took 292 wickets at 32.65, and held 200 catches as well.
Philander, primarily a fast-medium bowler with a priceless ability to move the ball late, is some way off matching those figures - his highest score in 45 Tests is 74. But 169 wickets at an average of 22.21 are proof of his potency as a bowler.
"He's becoming the new Jacques Kallis the way he's batting," said du Plessis of Philander after the Proteas levelled this four-match series at 1-1.
"He's a fantastic cricketer. When there's something there (in the pitch), he's probably the best in the world at doing something with it."
South Africa altered the balance of its team after a 211-run defeat in the first Test at Lord's, and du Plessis was delighted by how Philander had embraced his enhanced role in Nottingham.
"We left a batsman out to play two all-rounders, with that comes extra responsibility," said the captain.
"With the promotion to No 7, I backed his technique and he responded by getting crucial runs in this game. He stepped up to the plate."
Former England captain Michael Atherton, writing in The Times, said, "England lost four wickets to some of the best fast bowling you will see," adding, "Philander's opening spell from the Pavilion End should be commissioned as a textbook offering for any seamer of medium pace on how to put top order left-handers under pressure."
The 32 year old Philander, explaining how he went about his work, said, "With the moving ball here it's difficult because you can't just leave me, with the odd one nipping back.
"I'm looking to attack off-stump consistently and that makes life difficult for those left-handers."
Vernon Philander (left) and Faf du Plessis