Sri Lanka in SA
Vernon won't get carried away
Pretoria - Proteas seamer Vernon Philander is not fazed by all the sudden media attention after his sensational start to Test cricket.
He was named Man of the Match on Saturday for his ten wickets in the opening Test between South Africa and Sri Lanka in Centurion, which the hosts won by an innings and 81 runs.
His 5-53 in the first innings and 5-49 in the second, made him the first South African to take four five-wicket hauls in his first three Test matches and only the fourth bowler in history to achieve the feat.
Rodney Hogg for Australia, who debuted against England in 1978, took five five-wicket hauls while Thomas Richardson (England in 1893) and Charles Turner (Australia in 1887) both took four.
"I’m not records-driven," said Philander.
"I’m more process-driven and if I can take the team over the line then I’m more than happy with that."
The 26-year-old from Bellville in Cape Town, made his debut against Australia at Newlands in November where he took 5-15 with Australia famously all out for 47, and 5-70 in the tourists’ second innings the Wanderers.
"You have to acknowledge that you're not always going to bowl well," said Philander after his dream start.
"When things don’t go so well, you have to take it on the chin and go back to the drawing board and start again."
Proteas captain Graeme Smith said Philander was self-motivated and did not require any extra prodding from his captain.
"Vernon understands his own skills which makes my job easier," Smith said.
"The wickets had some good juice in them so it was about Vern not changing too much and to keep working on those skills.
"So for me it’s just about him keeping it simple and the motivation is there."
Smith said every player hoped for a start like that in international cricket and it was there to be enjoyed but warned of a challenge it gave to a player.
"I think he’s played enough cricket and had enough ups and downs in his career to know it’s not always going to be easy," Smith said.
"There will be different surfaces around the world that will challenge him.
"I would love him to keep on bowling as he is, but I think he knows there are tougher times around the corner."
South Africa next play Sri Lanka in the second Test at Kingsmead in Durban, on December 26.