CAPE TOWN – Vernon Philander has a way of creeping into the minds of even the very best batsmen.
His accuracy and skill are an examination of the highest level. India’s Murali Vijay went charging down the wicket to unsettle Philander’s immaculate and length. Australia’s Cameron Bancroft followed a similar path, and now England captain Joe Root has attempted a similar plan of action.
All three have failed dismally in their attempts with Philander simply adjusting his length to counter any pre-mediated plans. Root, particularly, fell foul to this method when he was caught behind at SuperSport Park in the first Test trying to attack Philander.
The England skipper is a vital cog in the tourists batting line-up and they desperately require their skipper to contribute significantly in the second Test starting at Newlands today.
Root will, though, have to find a way to combat Philander’s skill, particularly with the new ball if he is to get among the runs.