Philander has been excellent and if you want to prove yourself as a batsman no better place than RSA against Philander. However he has got nothing on Steyn. What Steyn has done in this batting friendly era, no one has been able to match yet. He is already an ATG in my books.
Philander has started out in his peak. There are so many other great players who could have been greater if they had started or played only during their peaks. Imran for one as highlighted above, Botham, Waqar, etc. The truth is Philander wasn't good enough before he was 27 to enter the RSA team .