South Africa allrounder Vernon Philander has become one of the most valuable members of the Proteas Test team, according to bowling coach Charl Langeveldt.
Philander demonstrated his importance in the second Test against England at Trent Bridge, which the visitors won by 340 runs to level the four-match series at one-all.
The 32-year-old Philander, who got a promotion to number seven in the batting order for the second Test, made valuable scores of 54 and 42 with the willow and returned figures of 2/48 and 3/24 to claim the man-of-the-match award as South Africa bounced back from their defeat Lord’s.
Already one of the best opening bowlers in world cricket – Philander has taken 169 wickets at a remarkable average of 22.21 after 45 Tests – Langeveldt says the Cape Cobras player usually steps up when the team needs it most.
Speaking to reporters ahead of the third Test against England at the Oval, starting on Thursday, Langeveldt said: “Vern is always ready.
“When we need to go to a guy and say that we need to bring the run-rate down and we need someone to hold up the end – he is the guy that normally steps up for me.
“In that sense, people don’t realise his value (to the team). In the bowling attack where we need two strike bowlers with an option of a third one – he holds us together.”