While Philander was a pre-game withdrawal with a back injury, Tahir turned in one of the worst bowling performances in Test history.
And that’s not being judgmental, it’s statistical.
Tahir finished Australia’s first innings at Adelaide Oval with 0-180 from 23 overs – the seventh worst figures in Test history.
Tahir conceded an average of 7.82 runs an over – the fourth most expensive runs per over average in Test history for a bowler who delivered at least 10 overs.
The Pakistani-born spinner couldn’t manage a maiden over among his whalloping by Australia’s batsmen.
After his opening day shellacking, Proteas coach Gary Kirsten offered excuses for the fragile 33-year-old.
“It’s not easy for a guy like him,” Kirsten told reporters after Thursday’s first day.
“It was a great wicket to bat on and he didn’t play the last Test so he was hoping to come in and make some sort of performance in the first innings.
“The Test match is not over yet and he still might be able to do something.
“But I don’t think it’s easy for a guy trying to find some form and get something going.
“It was a difficult first innings wicket for a spinner to bowl on.”