When Dale Steyn left the field injured in the first Test against Australia at Perth last year, the spirits of South Africa were dented. Something special was needed for them to come back into the game and all of a sudden, Vernon Philander and Kagiso Rabada burst into the scene to jolt the Australian batting line-up and since then, the Rabada and Philander factor have been playing a major role behind South Africa’s success in recent times.
South Africa v Sri Lanka, second Test, Cape Town. The Sri Lankans were looking good with a few overs left for tea and they just reached fifty in reply to South Africa’s first innings total of 392. All of a sudden, Kagiso Rabada nailed Kusal Mendis and the umpire called for tea.
Right after the tea, a brute force jolted Sri Lanka. Eight wickets fell for just 54 runs and Sri Lanka were bundled out for 110. The high speed force from both the end – Vernon Philander and Rabada – demolished Sri Lanka and that force was nothing but Rabada and Vernon Philander.
Yes, there was no Dale Steyn in the team, but these two men knocked down Sri Lanka in the absence of their major bowler and later on, South Africa won the game by 282 runs with Rabada finishing ten-for in the match.
Vernon Philander and Kagiso Rabada are the new aces for South Africa from past five-six months and they are carrying legacy throughout the season. Let’s have a look at the impact both these players made for South Africa’s performance and the result, they are in top 2 of ICC team ranking in all three formats.
First, let’s have a look at his career figures which will give you a clear idea how handy he has been for the Proteas.
A Test specialist and the perfect partner for Dale Steyn, Philander has been very productive since his debut. He was the player of the match on his debut Test when he troubled Australia in the second innings of the first Test in 2011 at Cape Town. His 5 for just 15 bowled out Australia for 47 (third lowest total for Australia in Tests) and finished the game within 3 days. In the second match of the series, yet again, he bagged a five-for, but Australia’s middle and lower order guided their team to a nervy two-wicket win. It was dream series for Philander as he was rewarded player of the series for his 14 wickets in 2 games with an average of 13.92.
Major contribution to Team’s victory
For any player, team’s victory is always more important that his individual performance. Though individual performances are key for success, team is the first priority. Let’s check Philander’s contribution for South Africa during his tenure of almost 6 years.
Most wins for a team in Test since Philander’s debut
Most Test wickets for South Africa since Philander’s debut
Most Test wickets (overall) since Philander’s debut
|R Herath (SL)||46||86||247||25.36||2.72||22||7|
|R Ashwin (INDIA)||43||80||239||25.36||2.92||23||7|
|S Broad (ENG)||61||112||236||26.6||2.96||11||2|
|J Anderson (ENG)||59||112||227||26.3||2.69||10||2|
|N Lyon (AUS)||60||115||220||33.97||3.2||6||1|
|D Steyn (SA)||39||71||179||21.1||2.91||10||1|
|T Boult (NZ)||48||90||178||29.36||2.98||5||1|
|V Philander (SA)||40||75||159||21.4||2.74||11||2|
|T Southee (NZ)||42||79||158||29.69||2.94||4||1|
|M Starc (AUS)||34||64||143||28.29||3.41||7||1|
Rabada just burst into the scene and captured the imagination of his own countrymen and world cricket with his passion for speed and hunger for wickets. This 21-year old can hit the speed gun at a rate of 140-150 kmph consistently and when is in rhythm, he is a treat to watch.
A perfect match winner
The numbers show how effectively Rabada has created an impact on South Africa’s victories in recent times.
Most ODI wins for a team since Rabada’s debut
Most ODI wickets for South Africa since Rabada’s debut
Most ODI wickets (overall) since Rabada’s debut
|K Rabada (SA)||25||24||43||6-16||25.1||5.24||2||1|
|Imran Tahir (SA)||26||25||41||7-45||28.4||5.07||0||1|
|A Rashid (ENG)||27||27||40||4-43||33.4||5.48||3||0|
|M Starc (AUS)||20||20||37||3-32||22.6||4.84||0||0|
|Dawlat Zadran (AFG)||19||18||32||4-22||22.9||4.84||2||0|
|J Hastings (AUS)||17||17||32||6-45||24.3||5.26||1||1|
|J Faulkner (AUS)||19||18||30||4-32||27.8||5.31||2||0|
|M Henry (NZ)||16||15||30||5-40||26.5||5.76||2||1|
|M Marsh (AUS)||31||29||30||4-27||37.5||5.75||1||0|
|A Zampa (AUS)||19||19||30||5-16||27.8||5.36||0||0|
Certainly, South Africa can dream of regaining their lost glory in Test cricket with Philander and Rabada in such a sublime form.