India’s attack ‘most challenging’, says South Africa’s Petersen

Issued on: 01.12.2022 – 19:20

Cape Town (AFP) – South Africa’s top scorer Keegan Petersen praised the quality of Indian bowling after his side fell behind the tourists on the second day of the third Test at Newlands on Wednesday.

Jasprit Bumrah went five to 42 when South Africa went out with 210, giving India a first innings lead of 13 runs which they extended to 70 when they went 57 to two in the end.

The slightly built Petersen, playing in his fifth Test, scored 72 but the fragility of beating the home side was exposed as no other batsman scored more than Temba Bavuma’s 28.

“It’s extremely challenging, the biggest challenge I’ve faced in my entire career,” said Petersen.

“We have to be focused and on your brand all the time or they will expose you.”

Petersen hit nine fours in his 166-ball innings but said scoring goals was never easy.

“There aren’t many chances to score. If they give you a chance, you have to take it – but they didn’t give us much.”

“Behind Eight-Ball”

South Africa struck back early in the second inning when Kagiso Rabada fired Mayank Agarwal and Marco Jansen was in charge of KL Rahul.

South Africa’s Aiden Markram is bowled by India’s Jasprit Bumrah who picked up 5-42 RODGER BOSCH AFP

But Cheteshwar Pujara and a confident Virat Kohli prevented further breakthroughs and gave India a useful lead in a few goals match, continuing the pattern of a bowler-dominated streak with a 1-1 draw.

“We’re a bit behind the eight,” admitted Petersen. “If we get early wickets tomorrow it will be brilliant.”

Though hitting conditions seemed easier on a bright, sunny day than on the cloudy first day, Petersen said the pitch still helped bowlers.

“The ball flicks around and crouches at one end and bounces a bit at the other,” he said.

Bumrah gave India the ideal start on Wednesday. After sacking South Africa captain Dean Elgar on the first night, he slapped in his second ball of the day, fooling Aiden Markram, who leapt and saw his stump being knocked back.

Bumrah was Kohli’s top bowler all day, finishing the Tests with five wickets on his seventh draw.

But Mohammed Shami struck two crucial goals in three deliveries after South Africa looked well placed just before the tea with 159 for four.

Petersen and Bavuma both hit relatively comfortably. But the consistently accurate Shami produced a ball that climbed Bavuma and forced an edge that was taken by Kohli on the second slip.

Two balls later, Kyle Verreynne goaded after a long delivery from Shami and was held back for nothing, leaving South Africa without a recognized batsman to partner Petersen.

Bumrah followed Bowling Jansen with the last ball before tee and then had Petersen in the first slip in the second over after the break.

Petersen struck with skill and dedication in partnerships of 67 with Rassie van der Dussen (21) and 47 with Bavuma.

Rabada had a hostile opening spell as India started their second innings.

Agarwal was issued caught behind but won a reprieve when a check revealed the ball had struck a pad rather than the inside edge of his racquet.

But Agarwal only made seven before edging out Rabada in the first slip against Elgar.

Jansen struck in the next over when KL Rahul was caught on the second slip.

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