England's relentlessness makes them a strong bet for the upcoming Ashes series with Australia, according to South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis.
"It's fair that you need to play a lot of cricket for your country and be available for selection and Vern accepts that", he said. So he's taken it on board from a fitness point of view.
Du Plessis also conceded that he was frustrated to not have the services of Philander during the fourth Test, which South Africa lost by 177 runs.
Philander's value to South Africa was underlined in the second Test when he turned in a Man of the Match performance at Trent Bridge.
Philander then missed the final Test at Old Trafford due to a back injury as the Proteas suffered a three-one series defeat.
Du Plessis acknowledged his side were second best to the improving England, and he believes they stand a good chance of retaining the Ashes should they maintain their current form when they travel to Australia in November.
"The last I spoke to you, I said he's just got to do a small fitness test but he'll be fine. Duanne bowled well this game but Vern is one of the best in these conditions, probably the best in seaming, swinging conditions which has been the case in all four Test matches, so not having him here was very frustrating and disappointing".
The Cape Cobras player though went into the four-match series with an ankle injury and passed a late fitness test to play in the game at Lord's while he was severely hampered in the third match with a stomach ailment. He has had to take that responsibility for himself and du Plessis said Philander has committed to doing more.