On Saturday, Steyn (4/40) terrorised the Australians in a brutal spell of fast bowling and took the wickets of opener David Warner, nightwatchman Nathan Lyon and captain Michael Clarke at the cost of just four runs in the first 40 minutes.
"He's the No. 1 bowler in the world for a reason," said Philander, who chipped in with the dismissal of Ricky Ponting and ended up with figures of two for 55.
"When you bowl on the other side from him it is special and just to bowl the new ball with him is special. The way he can deliver on big moments is unbelievable."
Philander said the conditions and the batting disappointment on Friday had helped transform the fortunes of the bowling unit.
"The wicket has a bit more bounce and the guys have to play a bit more off the back foot, which is good for us because it's similar to the wickets we have back home. We knew we had to get 20 wickets to win this game, we didn't bat so well in the first innings." (Reuters)