Vernon Philander, Virat Kohli, South Africa Vs India, Newlands,
Vernon Philander has focused on fitness to deliver big for South Africa. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Following the splendid match-figures of nine for 75 in 30.1 overs at his home ground in Cape Town, the mercurial Vernon Philander made Indian batsman play after South Africa set the target of 208 runs on day four of the first Sunfoil Test at Newlands on Monday (January 8).

After the Proteas-led by Fad du Plessis clinched the first Test fixture to go 1-0 up in the three-match series, the wily customer Philander made his plans public for keeping Indian skipper and batting mainstay Virat Kohli silent with the bat.

“Virat is a good player and an aggressive player. The key thing is to obviously keep him quiet and to make sure you set him up for the other one,” Philander was quoted as saying by PTI after speaking to journalists in Cape Town.

Vernon Philander, Virat Kohli, South Africa Vs India, Newlands,
Vernon Philander backs himself for Cape Town heroics. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Interestingly, Philander, who deceived batters more with his perfect line and the length, saw setting up Kohli, who scored five in first innings and 28 in the second innings, respectively.

“Initially it was for me to keep him quiet upfront, and I always knew I had the one coming back,” Philander maintained.

Owing to the execution of the plans, Philander lead from the front even the Proteas suffered a massive blow when they lost the services of speedster Dale Steyn, who injured his heel and eventually was ruled out of the ongoing series.

“It was probably two-and-a-half overs of away-swingers and then the one back at him (Kohli). It was definitely a plan to keep him quiet,” animated Philander said.

Vernon Philander, Virat Kohli, South Africa Vs India, Newlands,
Vernon Philander was up and running and asked his skipper du Plessis to let him continue. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

With the 72-run win which simultaneously saw 18 wickets falling on the penultimate day of the Test after the 22-yard surface was snuggling under covers on Sunday when inclement weather forced the officials to abandon the third day’s play.

Interestingly, Philander, who had enjoyed the bowling on a surface which witnessed the batting collapses on two separate innings of South Africa and Indiarespectively.

“We knew Virat was a big wicket to get, and getting him there and then I was just trying to motivate my boys,” Philander asserted.

Vernon Philander, Virat Kohli, South Africa Vs India, Newlands,
Vernon Philander praised Faf du Plessis for his support. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

However, Ravichandran Ashwin and wicketkeeper-batsman Wriddhiman Saha kept hopes alive for India before Philander returned with wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock right at the stumps, as the much-awaited breakthrough for hosts saw the players jumped in joy before mobbing the chief architect with the ball.

“You have to be open to those suggestions, but I’ll have to give this one to ‘Faffie’ (du Plessis),” Philander heaps praise on skipper Faf du Plessis.

Vernon Philander, Virat Kohli, South Africa Vs India, Newlands,
Vernon Philander has kept things under control. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Concluding, Philander further revealed he was not concerned about the Decision Review System (DRS) which was further justified by his confidence when he even did not have a look at the umpire after Kohli went for upstairs to challenge the on-field umpire’s decision.

“I was not worried about his DRS review. I knew it was stone dead,” Philander signed off.

SA vs IND 2018: Vernon Philander Delighted to Keep Virat Kohli Silent at Newlands

The 32-year-old Philander has also bagged the 12th five-wicket Test haul in the second innings before bringing up his career-best figures of six for 42.

Follow India’s tour to South Africa here: South Africa Vs India – Freedom Series

Tahir Ibn Manzoor

Tahir Ibn Manzoor is a staffer at Cricket Addictor, who follows cricket like food and he has a great affection for the long-form journalism. He Tweets @TahirIbnManzoor