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Vernon Philander was recognised for his contributions with both bat and ball in the series © Getty Images

Johannesburg: South Africa all-rounder Vernon Philander, who was adjudged Man of the Series during the recently concluded three-match Test series against Australia, has admitted it is “hard” to replace bowling spearhead Dale Steyn. Philander, who took 12 wickets and scored 136 runs in the series which South Africa went to win 2-1, was recognised for his contributions with both bat and ball in the series, but it was his leadership with the ball in Steyn’s absence that was the highlight. “It’s hard to replace a Dale,” he was quoted as saying by Sport24. “In saying that, it leaves an opportunity for someone else to step up. I think the guys have really worked hard and each one has stepped up in different stages throughout the series. We pride ourselves on bowling teams out and it was a phenomenal performance from each player in the attack.” FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: Australia vs South Africa, 3rd Test at Adelaide

The 31-year-old also credited his man-of-the-series performance to the outstanding team contributions from the bowlers despite the seven-wicket loss at the Adelaide Oval. Philander, who has been under scrutiny for his form away from home, hopes to carry on with the form and make significant contributions in the Test matches ahead. Vernon Philander praises South Africa’s all-round performance against Australia

“It’s always exciting when you have a young bowling attack,” he said. “The guys gelled well; the way Kyle Abbott came in and stepped up to the plate was unbelievable, KG Rabada bowled phenomenally well throughout the series. It’s exciting looking forward working with those two over the course of the summer.”

He also said that at the moment, he is feeling confident about his batting. “I am feeling really confident about my batting, I worked a lot during those injured months on my batting and have really enjoyed batting out there,” he said.