Cape Town: Perceived similarities between Proteas bowling sensation Vernon Philander and Australian legend Glenn McGrath come to the fore taking into account the way the former applies pressure through the creation of doubt in batsmen’s minds, an article has said.
Philander’s career in the five-day game spans a few months at this stage; McGrath was a formidable competitor for the Baggy Greens over a period of some 14 years between 1993 and 2007.
But it is irresistible to compare them after six Tests each, following Philander’s latest performance of 10/114 in the Hamilton Test against New Zealand, Sport 24 reports.
There is, however, one major difference between both: McGrath did not immediately take the world by surprise in the manner Philander has.
“Pigeon” has claimed only 14 wickets in first six Tests, with a best of three for 65 against South Africa in March 1994 and it was not until his 10th Test against West Indies, that he experienced his first five wicket haul (5/68).
Philander has claimed an incredible 45 wickets at an average of 13.60, with five five-wicket hauls and two 10-wicket match hauls.
He is likely to eclipse McGrath’s overall Test statistics of 563 wickets (the fourth best ever) at 21.64 and economy rate of 2.49.
But the drawback is that Philander has earned his first recognition in the format at 26, while McGrath made his Test debut at 23.
Philander has only been exposed to three Test opponents thus far – Australia, Sri Lanka and New Zealand with more challenging pitches of the subcontinent still lie ahead.
As long as he keeps dominating Test matches in the extraordinary way he has thus far –– Philander will keep pundits interested in comparison against McGrath, the article added.