Sydney: South African coach Russell Domingo has defended pace bowler Vernon Philander despite his second consecutive underwhelming series against Australia, saying that Philander had been a `phenomenal player` for South Africa for more than a year for which he should be cut some slack for his poor show in `just three quietish Tests`.
Philander, who was recorded his Test-worst figures of 1-116 in the first innings in Cape Town, finished the series with seven wickets at an average of 51.71, striking every 14 overs.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, however, the right-armer enjoyed an incredible debut series against Australia in late 2011, taking 14 wickets at 13.93, and then replicated that form for much of the next two years to rise to the top of the world rankings.
Alluding to this level of consistency shown by Philander, Domingo said that although the bowler has not managed to keep to the level of precedent that he himself set before, he has been phenomenal for South Africa for a year and a half and just had three `quietish` Tests, adding that such things are due to happen.
However, Domingo said that the retirement of Test captain Graeme Smith, so soon after Jacques Kallis and Mark Boucher did the same, would require `a bit of a new era that is going to have to dawn` within the South African Test team, and called on the likes of Philander, AB de Villiers, Faf du Plessis and Hashim Amla to keep the team going.