Smith backs 'phenomenal' Philander to improve further

Last Updated: Tue, Feb 19, 2013 08:10 hrs

South Africa captain Graeme Smith has tipped in form swing bowler Vernon Philander to improve further following his phenomenal performances since his Test debut against Australia in November 2011.

Smith said Philander has got the results for the team but he is still a work in progress, and he thinks the new-ball bowler can get better, Sport24 reports.

The 27-year old Philander has taken 87 wickets in 15 Tests at an average of 16.81 with a strike rate and an average unmatched by any other contemporary Test bowler, it reported.

Philander has shot up the International Cricket Council rankings and is second only to his South African new ball partner, Dale Steyn.

Philander was again a prime architect of South Africa's four-wicket win in the second Test against Pakistan which ended at Newlands on Sunday, taking five for 59 in the first innings and four for 40 in the second.

Smith pointed out that Philander had suffered a few niggles, which have caused him to miss three Tests because of injury since his debut, and that he could improve on his performances when the ball loses its shine if he was able to bowl slightly faster.

Smith said Philander himself would like bowler quicker, adding outside of that his skill factor is immense.

The opening batsman added Philander's seam action that he gets out of his hand and the questions he asks batters is great to stand at slip and watch that happen.

Smith added if Philander can pick up a little bit of pace, which he has definitely got, his old ball spells will get even better (ANI)

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