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Vernon did not require any extra prodding: Smith

Cape Town, Dec 20 (ANI): South Africa skipper Graeme Smith has said that pacer Vernon Philander was self-motivated and did not require any extra pushing from his captain.

Philander was named Man of the Match on Saturday for his 10 wickets in the opening Test between South Africa and Sri Lanka at SuperSport Park in Centurion.

“Vernon understands his own skills which makes my job easier. The wickets had some good juice in them so it was about Vern not changing too much and to keep working on those skills. So for me it’s just about him keeping it simple and the motivation is there,” Smith said.

He said every player hoped for a start like that in international cricket and it was there to be enjoyed but warned of a challenge it gave to a player.

“I think he’s played enough cricket and had enough ups and downs in his career to know it’s not always going to be easy. There will be different surfaces around the world that will challenge him. I would love him to keep on bowling as he is, but I think he knows there are tougher times around the corner,” Smith said.

Philander’s 5/53 in the first innings and 5/49 in the second made him the first South African to take four five-wicket hauls in his first three Test matches and only the fourth bowler in history to achieve the feat, Sport24 reports.

Rodney Hogg for Australia, who debuted against England in 1978, took five five-wicket hauls while Thomas Richardson (England in 1893) and Charles Turner (Australia in 1887) both took four. (ANI)