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Petersen expects Pakistan to bounce back

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Proteas batsman Alviro Petersen.

Cape Town – While his confidence may be high, after scoring a century for his franchise last weekend, South Africa’s opening batsman Alviro Petersen says his feet are still firmly planted on the ground.

“It’s always nice to get some runs under my belt but when I walk out to bat against Pakistan later this week, I’m well aware that I have to start again on zero,” Petersen said in Cape Town on Tuesday.

“I have to try and build a base all over again, but it’s a good feeling to have that bit of confidence going into the next match.”

Petersen scored 119 for the Lions against the Warriors on Saturday, helping them secure a 125-run victory and finish in second place in the four-day domestic series.

“With such a long break between the two Tests, I wanted to go back to my local franchise and try and help the boys out,” he said, ahead of the second Test which starts on Thursday.

“They were in the running to win the competition and I wanted to show my commitment to the Lions.

“I remember where I came from and it’s that sort of cricket which helped me to get where I am today, so it’s always nice to give something back.”

Petersen enjoyed the added advantage of facing Warriors left-arm seamer Wayne Parnell, off-spinner Simon Harmer as well as the medium-fast bowler Andrew Birch and said it was a similar attack to that he would face against Pakistan.

While the South African bowling attack was in such superb form, Petersen said it worked for and against him as a batsman.

“Our bowling unit absolutely deserves all the hype they’re getting at the moment,” he said.

“There is pressure on us batsmen too, because we must also perform but it also makes it a bit easier as often, in a second innings, we have a big lead and there’s not much pressure and there are not many catchers in place.”

He felt Pakistan were likely to put up more of a fight in Cape Town, having some world-class players in their side.

Petersen said Newlands was just the ground for Pakistan to do so because, traditionally, the wicket was better suited to spin.

“But we’ve played some good cricket here too over the last few years, so we’ll take that confidence with us into the game,” he said.

“In saying that, we definitely don’t want to take Pakistan lightly because they have that potential to bounce back.”

The Proteas were coping better against spin and had their game plans set against Saeed Ajmal but Petersen admitted the South Africans were surprised when giant fast bowler Mohammad Irfan was omitted from the Pakistan team for the previous Test at the Wanderers.

“We were all surprised when Irfan wasn’t selected for the first Test because he offers something different,” he said of the 2.16 metre tall bowler.

“We’ve done our homework on him and he’s the type of bowler we’ve never faced in our lives.

“I’m sure he’ll play in the second Test so we will have to prepare well for him and try and find a way or come up with a technique to play him.” – Sapa


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