It took balls



November 29, 2016
It took balls

DOMINATED: Proteas stars Kagiso Rabada, Kyle Abbott and leader Vernon Philander

Vernon stepped up when he needed to.

Man of the Series Down Under, Vernon Philander, admits that it was tough to replace Dale Steyn as the pace spearhead in their 2-1 series win over Australia.

But he did so in style, claiming 12 wickets and also scoring 136 runs.

The 31-year-old, though, says he couldn’t have done it without the rest of the bowling team, with the likes of Kagiso Rabada and Kyle Abbott also pulling their weight when needed.

With Steyn having suffered a shoulder injury in the first Test, Philander then had to lead the line after only just recovering from injury himself.

Philander explains: “It’s very frustrating when you are out of cricket.

“It was about seven months out of the national side, I had to physio and rehab quite a bit and all-in-all to come down here and put in the performances for the team is satisfying for me personally.

“It’s always exciting when you have a young bowling attack.

“The guys gelled well; the way Kyle [Abbott] came in and stepped up to the plate was unbelievable, KG [Rabada] bowled phenomenally well throughout the series.

“It’s exciting looking forward working with those two over the course of the summer.”

Of his batting, he adds: “I am getting into good positions.

“I am feeling really confident about my batting, I worked a lot during those injured months on my batting and have really enjoyed batting out there.”

Philander says the bowlers complement one another well by having three different striking options, and also commended the captain, Faf du Plessis, on his management of the bowling workloads and changes.

He adds: “It’s hard to replace a Dale.

“In saying that, it leaves an opportunity for someone else to step up.

“I think the guys have really worked hard and each one has stepped up in different stages throughout the series.

“We pride ourselves on bowling teams out and it was a phenomenal performance from each player in the attack.”

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