Former Australian skipper Ricky Ponting has revealed that South African paceman Vernon Philander was the hardest bowler he had faced in his illustrious career.
“He is probably the hardest I faced in world cricket with those types of conditions because you don’t get any visual clues with the swinging ball,” Ponting was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.
Describing the Proteas bowler as a ‘class act’, the 41-year-old said that Philander’s knack of extracting swing and seam movement makes him the most troublesome for batsmen.
“Most other guys when there’s movement, the ball actually swings in the air first and you have some sort of idea of which way the ball is going to go.
“He doesn’t swing the ball at all. It comes out of his hand dead straight and he doesn’t know which way it’s going to go off the pitch either. He’s just a class act when the ball is seaming,” he added.
Ponting was dismissed twice by Philander–on both occasions leg before wicket–in the four-match Test series he played against South Africa at Newlands in November 2011.
Recently, Philander produced an impressive performance on Day One of the second Commonwealth Bank Test in Hobart, blowing away Australia’s top order with the new ball before finishing the match with the figures of five for 21 which South Africa won by an innings and 80 runs.