Tweets aside, 'Big Vern' the king of Cape Town

2018-03-20 12:45
Vernon Philander (Gallo)

Cape 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 Town. 

"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 team.

"He's going to expect them to come out and say something on the field and I'm sure he's prepared for that."


Read more on:    proteas  |  vernon philander  |  cape town  |  cricket


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South Africa v England, Centurion 10:00
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