South Africa seems to have found a reliable batter for the No. 3 spot in their Test lineup after Keegan Petersen received a glowing endorsement from Proteas legend AB de Villiers for his superb knock here at Newlands. Petersen held the South Africa innings together with a fine 72, his second consecutive half-century of the series, as the hosts managed to post 210 in their first innings, chasing India’s score of 223.
But for Petersen’s knock, Dean Elgar’s side would have conceded a bigger lead in the series-deciding third and final Test match. “The long and the short is Keegan Petersen CAN play! I’m very excited with the composure, skill, and technique I’ve seen against one of the best attacks in the world,” De Villiers said in a tweet on Wednesday. With Petersen showing great composure, skill, and technique and Aiden Markram struggling for runs, there are suggestions that Petersen could move up a spot to open the innings with skipper Elgar so that Markram’s skills could be utilised in the middle order when the ball is old.
However, Petersen is not very enthusiastic about the move. “I like batting in at number three, I’ve batted there for most of my career. In terms of losing early wickets, we have two high-quality opening batters, they’re just going through a rough time,” Petersen said in the press conference at the end of the day’s play on Wednesday. India lead South Africa by 70 runs with eight-second innings wickets in hand. The teams are locked 1-1 in the three-match series after India won the first Test and South Africa struck back in the second.