Vernon Philander appears to be well and truly back to his best after a Man-of-the-Series display Down Under.
The 31-year-old pace bowler showed some signs of an early recovery when he took 4-77 in the second Test against New Zealand in August, but it was in Australia where he truly announced his recovery to help his side dominate in their series Down Under.
Although he took five wickets and fell one run short of his best score (74) with the bat in Perth, it was his performance in the absence of Dale Steyn in Hobart where he truly led from the front.
Philander claimed a five-for in the first innings to help South Africa go 2-0 up against the Aussies and ultimately claim a third-consecutive series away win for the first time in history.
Although he ended the tour with expensive figures of 2-100 in the Proteas’ defeat in the day-night Test in Adelaide, Philander showed signs of a full recovery after sitting on the sidelines for almost seven months after suffering a career-threatening ankle injury in November last year.
‘It’s very frustrating when you are out of cricket,’ he said.
‘It was about seven months out of the national side, I had to go 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.’
Philander will look to continue his good form with the new partnership he built with Kyle Abbott and Kagiso Rabada, as they look to continue their cohesiveness in their home series against Sri Lanka starting 26 December.
Philander’s five-for against Australia:
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