/Today’s Latest Daily News News24.com | ‘We’ve always been known to be slow starters’
Today’s  Latest Daily  News News24.com | ‘We’ve always been known to be slow starters’

Today’s Latest Daily News News24.com | ‘We’ve always been known to be slow starters’

Today’s Latest Daily News Former Proteas all-rounder Vernon Philander says that there is plenty to be excited about following South Africa’s impressive second Test triumph over India.

On Thursday, the Proteas dealt India their first-ever loss at the Wanderers in Johannesburg and managed to bring the series level at 1-1 before heading into the decider in Cape Town.

The hosts had lost the opener by 113 runs at SuperSport Park in Centurion but managed to bounce back with a statement seven-wicket win on day four at the Bullring.

With India setting a 240 run chase for the Proteas, captain Deal Elgar took to the crease and led his team to victory with an unbeaten 96.

Mention must also be made of Kagiso Rabada’s post-lunch momentum-shifting bowling display.

“We’ve always been known to be slow starters, but the way the boys bounced back after losing the toss as well was excellent,” said Philander after the second Test. “There were a lot of expectations on the bowlers to bowl India out and they did that. I thought they bowled phenomenally well in partnerships,” he said.

“They probably started a little bit slow in the second innings and may have been disappointed with the areas they hit. They could have been trying too hard and in the process afforded India more opportunities than they would have expected.”

“There was something in the wicket, as we saw, and had they been more patient, they could have probably bowled India out even cheaper, but over giving yourself something around the 200 mark, we would have always taken that in the last innings,” said Philander.

“We have to signal out Dean and the way he batted all the way through. He made sure he stayed in a built partnership with the other batters around him.

“Then with the ball, we can’t not mention KG and that one spell where he turned the game upside down after lunch. In a series like this against a strong India team, you’re going to need bowlers to deliver spells like those that break the game open completely.”

For Philander, the batting intent set by the Proteas in their fourth-innings chase was another decisive and impressive element that defeated the Indians.

“It was probably the best batting performance I’ve seen from the Proteas in a while. The guys were really clinical, and I think the way Dean led with the bat was phenomenal,” said Philander.

“Also, the mindset made a huge difference. I think in the first innings, the boys were a bit tentative, maybe a bit on the defensive side of things.

“But, if you look at the second innings, we saw some clear intent. The guys were looking to score quicker, and you could see the difference it made in demeanour and body language and the sort of surprise it gave the India bowlers, who wouldn’t have expected the South Africans to come out and attack as they did.”

“It makes a massive difference when you just come out and just allow the bowler to bowl at you compared to showing positive intent like they did. The way they batted was proper.”

Throughout his own Test career, Philander took 224 wickets in just 64 tests and scored nearly 2000 runs; and also took note of Keegan Petersen’s maiden 50 at international level and recognised it as a key contribution to the hosts victory.

“I was very chuffed for Keegan Petersen as well. We’ve all been praising him for his technique and the way he looked in his career so far. To his credit, he’s only been playing on tough wickets since his debut. It’s an important innings for him.”

“I was there once, and you feel part of that set-up once you contribute. So now with that 60-odd knock behind him, he will feel a lot more comfortable and confident. It will be a massive boost.”

The third and final Test that will decide the series takes place from 11-15 January at Newlands Stadium in Cape Town.

“I don’t think there’s much between the two teams going into Cape Town. The last Test would have given South Africa a massive boost on all fronts,” said Philander.

“Very often that is all that you need – one win as a team to give you that confidence and momentum. They will feel they now have that behind them, and they can go on to win the series. Coming to Newlands, one of our favourite hunting grounds, I’m really looking forward to the final Test. It’s going to be a cracker.”

The Proteas’ third and final Test against Inday starts (10:00) on Tuesday at Newlands.

Read More