Vernon Philander poses huge threat to India
South Africa fast bowler can finish Test series on a high in Johannesburg
Sky Sports Cricket & Main Event, 8am Wednesday
South Africa have beaten India in two low-scoring Test matches and they are evens to complete a 3-0 series victory at the Wanderers in Johannesburg.
The Proteas have a patchy record at the Joburg venue, losing six of their last 12 Test matches, but India’s batsmen must sharpen up their act if they are to claim a consolation win.
Their lackadaisical efforts were epitomised by Cheteshwar Pujara, who was run out in both innings of the second Test at Centurion, and skipper Virat Kohli admitted that “so many soft dismissals in one match hurt a lot”.
India have disappointed with the bat but South Africa’s bowlers also deserve plenty of credit.
With Dale Steyn picking up a heel injury early in the series, Morne Morkel, Kagiso Rabada, newcomer Lungi Ngidi and Vernon Philander have bowled superbly, restricting India to totals of 209, 135, 307 and 151.
Big Vern took nine wickets in the first Test in Cape Town before being overshadowed by Ngidi’s terrific debut at Centurion, but he should be among the wickets at a ground that he loves.
Philander has taken 21 scalps in four Wanderers Test matches and he played a major role in the engrossing 2013 draw with India.
He bowled 55 overs in the match, offering few freebies to India’s batsmen, and was rewarded with figures of 4-61 in the first innings and 3-68 second time around.
V Philander top South Africa first-innings wicket-taker
1pt 3-1 Hills
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