Home Sport Cricket Vernon Philander advises Proteas to be calm against Aussies

Vernon Philander advises Proteas to be calm against Aussies

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When it comes to crunch games, be it World Cup knockouts or any other ICC event, the Australian cricket team tends to resemble how Real Madrid perform in the Uefa Champions League – it doesn’t matter their LaLiga form, when it’s Champions League time, they are always in the running to win the trophy.

South Africa’s Marco Jansen celebrates after taking the wicket of England’s Joe Root. Picture: REUTERS, Andrew Boyers

Taking on Australia in any event, anywhere in the world, is a daunting task, regardless of the calibre of players making up the Australian team.

When it comes to crunch games, be it World Cup knockouts or any other ICC event, the Australian cricket team tends to resemble how Real Madrid perform in the Uefa Champions League – it doesn’t matter their LaLiga form, when it’s Champions League time, they are always in the running to win the trophy.

Real Madrid have won more Champions League trophies than any other club. The Australian cricket team is the world’s most decorated.

So, what does this mean for South Africa, a team with no World Cup trophy and very little to boast about on the international stage, when they face the Aussies in Thursday’s World Cup semi-final?

It means pressure.

“It all boils (down) to calmness,” Vernon Philander, who played in SA’s last semi-final appearance, told Independent Media, while looking at what will be key for South Africa on Thursday.

The one player who will feel the most pressure is young Marco Jansen, who will most likely take the new ball against the explosive duo of David Warner and Travis Head.

Jansen is fresh from figures of 1/94 in 9.3 overs in the carnage against India at Eden Gardens, and despite being rested on Friday, those memories will be fresh in his mind as the Proteas return to the same venue for Thursday’s semi-final.

Unlike many fast bowlers who learn their trade in domestic cricket and make it to international cricket finished articles, the 23-year-old Jansen is learning on the job in the toughest of environments in India.

“New-ball bowling is all about control,” said Philander.

“Marco is young and is learning on the job. I think him and Lungi (Ngidi) have been doing a fantastic job and Marco’s wickets in the powerplay attest to how good he has been.

“The game against India was … I don’t want to say an eye-opener, but it is good that South Africa went through that in the round-robin stage because I felt we needed to experience having 60,000 fans cheering against you and playing an Indian team that is playing well.”

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