Du Plessis hails 'the new Jacques Kallis' | cricket.com.au

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ENGLAND V SOUTH AFRICA TESTS

Du Plessis hails 'the new Jacques Kallis'

18 July 2017

Philander was deservedly named player-of-the-match at Trent Bridge // Getty

Proteas skipper jokes his star player is becoming a new version of the legendary South African allrounder

South Africa captain Faf du Plessis has joked that Vernon Philander is on the way to becoming the "new Jacques Kallis" after his match-winning display in a crushing 340-run win over England in the second Test at Trent Bridge.

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Philander was in fine form with both bat and ball as South Africa won with more than a day to spare to level the four-match series 1-1.


He made valuable scores of 54 and 42 at No.7 before taking 3-24 in 10 overs as England, chasing a huge 474 for victory, collapsed to 133 all out in what was their heaviest Test defeat, in terms of runs, at Trent Bridge.

Retired great Kallis is arguably the game's greatest ever allrounder; he scored 45 Test hundreds and averaged more than 55 with the bat and also took 292 wickets at 32.65 to go with 200 catches.

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"He is becoming the new Jacques Kallis the way he is batting," du Plessis said. "We joke about it because his technique is becoming the same as Kallis' as well.

"He's a fantastic cricketer. When there's something there (in the pitch), he's probably the best in the world at doing something with it."

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Philander unsurprisingly offered a blunt "absolutely not" when asked if he agreed with his skipper's comparison to Kallis, but there no doubting the 32-year-old's impact in Nottingham.

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"We left a batsman out to play two allrounders, with that comes extra responsibility," said the captain.

"With the promotion to No.7, I backed his technique and he responded by getting crucial runs in this game. He stepped up to the plate."

Philander and Chris Morris took two wickets apiece as they reduced an England top order featuring three left-handers to 4-72 before lunch on Monday's fourth day.

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Philander, explaining how he went about his work, said: "With the moving ball here it's difficult because you can't just leave me, with the odd one nipping back. I'm looking to attack off-stump consistently and that makes life difficult for those left-handers.

"With the addition of Chris, our attack is even greater because we've got four seamers now. It's exciting to be part of it and to lead an attack."

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This match was also a triumph for du Plessis, who took the bold decision to bat first and deployed precise field settings which helped account for Moeen Ali in both innings.

All this came against a backdrop of South Africa being without coach Russell Domingo following the death of his mother, while fast bowler Kagiso Rabada was suspended.

"The calmness around him and his leadership, it's massive," said Philander of du Plessis's captaincy.

"There's no sense of panic when the team's backs are against the wall... It makes it so much easier."

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