Sports


Philander can get better: Smith



Cape Town: South African opening bowler Vernon Philander has built up a phenomenal record since his Test debut against Australia in November 2011 but his captain Graeme Smith is looking for more.

"Vern has got the results but he is still a work in progress," said Smith. "I think he can
get better."

Philander, 27, has taken 87 wickets in 15 Tests at an average of 16.81 — a strike rate and an average unmatched by any other contemporary Test bowler.

He has shot up the International Cricket Council rankings and is second only to his South African new ball partner, Dale Steyn. Smith pointed out that Philander had suffered "a few niggles" — which have caused him to miss three Tests because of injury — and that he could improve on his performances when the ball loses its shine if he can bowl slightly faster.

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