A fast-bowling all-rounder, Philander represented South Africa in the World Twenty Championships in 2007.
He faded from the international scene for a while, but he got his chance in the home series against Australia in 2011 after taking 35 wickets at an average of 16.11 in the 2010/2011 domestic season.
In his test debut at Newlands, Philander finished with a match-haul of eight for 78 including five for 15 in the second innings as a rampant South Africa won by eight wickets.
Philander continued to torment international batsmen and competed his 50-wicket landmark in only seven tests, the second fastest in test match history.
What sets Philander apart, is his ability to move the ball both ways off the seam at sharp pace. He relentlessly attacks the wickets. His probing line and fuller length over long spells have proved the downfall of many international batsmen.
Similar to Shaun Pollock and Glenn McGrath in his approach, Philander forces batsmen to play all the time, but unlike Messrs Pollock and McGrath, his bounce is not pronounced enough to allow batsmen to leave the in-swinger.
Philander captured sixteen wickets in two tests against Sri Lanka and had New Zealand in disarray in 2011/2012 to finish with six five-fors in his first seven tests.
Another remarkable display at Lord’s saw Philander force his way onto the honours board in the third test of 2012 when he took five for 30 against England in the second innings as South Africa won by 51 runs to coast to a 2-0 win in the series.
In the same test, he scored a fighting 61 in the first innings as his batting skills evolved dramatically in the white-uniform format.
In 2013, he was one of the South African bowlers who bowled out New Zealand for 45, the lowest Test Match total of the millennium.
As of May 2013 he was rated by the ICC as the 2nd best bowler and the 3rd best all-rounder in the world.
Philander captured his 100th test wicket in the first test against India at the Wanderers in December 2013, needing only 19 tests to reach the milestone, which made him the fastest South Africa to reach three figures with the ball.
Philander was less prolific with the ball in the test series against Australia in February and March 2014, but continued his upward curve with the bat and averaged 51 in the series.
His 105-minute defiance in the test series against Sri Lanka set up a remarkable test-series win for South Africa as he faced 98 balls to score an unbeaten 27. His stubborn resistance with Imran Tahir and Dale Steyn denied Sri Lanka almost certain victory.
Philander has improved steadily in One Day Internationals and played in the ODI series-wins against Sri Lanka and New Zealand in 2014.