Ken Borland
Sports Journalist
3 minute read
4 Jan 2022
7:57 pm

Proteas happy to chase anything under 200, says Petersen

Ken Borland

SA's top scorer in their first innings though feels the batters need to 'kick on' once in at the crease.

Dean Elgar and Keegan Petersen of South Africa batted well in partnership during day two of the second Test against India and will again be key players in the fourth innings. Picture: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images/Getty Images

Keegan Petersen had the ball whizzing past his ears and edges of his bat enough times on Tuesday to know just how tough it is going to be for the South African batsmen to take on the Indian attack in the second innings of the second Test at the Wanderers, which means a quick end to the tourists’ innings on Wednesday will be crucial.

Petersen top-scored for the Proteas with a determined but positive 62 in their innings of 229 which gave them just a 27-run lead. India, in their second knock, had reached 85/2 at stumps to go into the third day 58 runs ahead.

“It’s a tough pitch and batting is definitely not going to get easier. And we’re up against a top-quality attack that keeps you on your toes,” Petersen said after his maiden Test half-century in his sixth innings.

“It’s a pitch which you’re never really in on and the session this morning was the toughest. The Indian seamers came out guns blazing and it was a very challenging two hours.

“They were spot-on with both their execution and their strategies, and the pitch is a bit tricky too. We haven’t yet put a number to what we’d like to chase, but anything under 200 I think we can get.

“But it’s a difficult bowling attack to come up against and we’ll have to get stuck in again. I’m not sure what the right way to bat is, the attacking option worked out for a couple of guys,” Petersen said.

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The 28-year-old from Paarl has been deposited in the deep end at No 3 in his brief Test career which began in the West Indies last June and he once again came to the crease at the Wanderers inside the first five overs, as he has done in all of his Proteas innings thus far.

While there has been talk of him dropping down the order so a more experienced batsman can come in first drop, Petersen brushed that off on Tuesday by saying he will bat “wherever”.

Clearly a mentally tough individual, he was more upset that he did not go on to a bigger score, having done so much hard work in spending nearly three hours at the crease.

“I’m happy but I wish I had done more,” Petersen said. “I wish I had kicked on and that is the one department we need to improve on as a batting unit.

“You can’t be overly aggressive, but you just try and pounce on the bad ball when it comes. But there weren’t many of those.

“I’m completely confident that I will get to the milestone of a Test century. I thought today was going to be the day. It was not to be, but we will get there,” said the KZN Dolphins batsman whose solid technique and impressive stroke-playing ability was laid down in his childhood years by father Dirkie, his only real coach growing up.