Town - The Proteas have received a massive boost with the news that Kagiso Rabada is available to
play in the third Test against Australia at Newlands, but the visitors will
have to worry about more than just 'KG'.
Vernon Philander's record in Cape
Town makes him as threatening as anyone in a Test match that will have a major
say in which way this series goes.
The 32-year-old has taken a
staggering 47 Test
wickets on his home ground at an average of just 16.35.
Those numbers include his famous
performance in 2011, when Philander's 5/15 in the second innings helped skittle
Australia for just 47.
Ever since then, Philander has
been a handful on his own strip.
With Rabada now added to the mix,
South Africa will be feeling pretty good about their chances.
"I think it's the crowd that
gets him going," Dean Elgar said of Philander's dominance at Newlands.
"This has been his home
ground his whole career and his record speaks for itself. It's a special venue
for any South African cricketer but I think even more so for him ... he's
basically been brought up in this ground.
"He's got a pretty special
record throughout South Africa, I just think this place is maybe magnified a
bit more because it is his home ground."
Not often one at the centre of
any controversy, Philander may find himself the victim of some choice
Australian sledging at Newlands.
Last week a tweet sent out from
Philander's account claimed that Aussie captain Steve Smith was "just as
guilty" as Rabada following the 'shoulder brushing' incident between the
pair in Port Elizabeth.
Philander subsequently denied
sending the tweet, saying his account had been hacked, but the Australians have
confirmed that they will be using that as ammunition against Philander in Cape
"I think he'll take it in
his stride like Vern does. He's quite a relaxed human being if you know him as
well as I do," Elgar predicted.
"On the field he's as
competitive as anyone else. He's got a set of skills which helps us out as a
"He's going to expect them
to come out and say something on the field and I'm sure he's prepared for