• Ponting recalls ‘class act’ Philander

    Former Australian captain Ricky Ponting hailed the Proteas’ Vernon Philander as ‘probably the hardest I have faced in world cricket’ during a 2016 interview.

    Philander will retire from all forms of international cricket after the Proteas four-Test series against England, which will end in January 2020.

    New magazine issue: Why De Kock must bat at four

    The stalwart right-arm seamer currently has 216 Test wickets, 53 of which were taken against Australia.

    ‘He is probably the hardest I faced in world cricket with those type of conditions because you don’t get any visual clues with the swinging ball,’ Ponting told BT Sport four years ago, shortly after Philander snared a first-innings five-wicket haul during the second Test in Hobart.

    ‘Most other guys when there’s movement, the ball actually swings in the air first and you have some sort of idea of which way the ball is going to go.

    ‘He doesn’t swing the ball at all. It comes out of his hand dead straight and he doesn’t know which way it’s going to go off the pitch either.

    ‘So you sort of end up trying to find and feel for which way the ball is going to go. We saw a couple of replays; the release was exactly the same on two balls in a row, they landed in almost exactly the same spot, one seamed away and the other one seamed in.

    ‘He’s just a class act when the ball is seaming.’

    Philander will end a prolific career as South Africa’s seventh-highest wicket-taker in Test cricket. Ponting is Test cricket’s second-highest run-scorer.

    Photo: Gallo Images

    Post by