Cape Town – South Africa’s first choice spinner, Robin Peterson, says he is happy to bide his time and watch the seam bowlers snatch up all the wickets, because he knows his turn will come.
“It’s no fun sometimes being a spinner in South Africa where you go through long periods without bowling, but the team comes first and, as long as we’re winning, I don’t mind,” Peterson said in Cape Town on Monday.
“I know my time will come and I just have to hang in there, be patient and keep working hard on my game.”
He admitted it could be frustrating for him and said it was only natural for him to want a share of the wickets but he had other contributions to make and duties to perform within the team structure.
“In South Africa, you have to realise that there’s a certain role you need to perform within the team, depending on the circumstances,” he said.
“Sometimes, if there is no spin, my role is to keep it tight and give the seamers a bit of a break. Other times, when there’s a bit on offer for the spinner, I try and make a breakthrough when the seamers haven’t been able to do so.
“I’m well aware of my role and, while I’d love to play on turning wickets every weekend, it’s not the case in our conditions, so I have to adapt.”
Peterson said he looked forward to playing a Test match at Newlands although the wicket, traditionally suited to spin bowling, had changed in recent years where the seam bowlers had enjoyed more success.
“We’ve played on various surfaces at Newlands over the last two years where the seamers have done most of the damage,” Peterson said.
“In saying that, it’s probably the only surface we’ll be playing on against Pakistan where a spinner could come into his own. So, hopefully, I will get an opportunity and help the team get over the line.
“I think there will be a little turn on offer if the weather is good for the next couple of days.”
On his batting form, Peterson said he felt he was hitting the ball well although he was disappointed with his cheap dismissal in the last Test in Johannesburg and hoped to get another opportunity to prove himself.
“I may have been too focused on my bowling but I’m seeing the ball well and still hitting it nicely.
“I’ll prepare well and if the opportunity comes, I’ll go out there and show I’m a lot better than that.”
Pakistan boasted their own spinner in Saeed Ajmal but Peterson said the Proteas had done their homework and would work hard over the next few days to counter his attack.
“The guys do their homework, use video analysis and put into practice whatever game plans they want to employ.
“It’s different for each batsman but it’s about being able to execute and back your game plans and stick to them for as long as possible.”
He said the South African top order had coped well against Ajmal when they played against him in Dubai in November 2010 and again in the first Test of the current tour in Johannesburg a fortnight ago.
With little assistance in the wicket for the spinners, Peterson said he was still more than happy to just enjoy the view and watch the top Test bowlers in the world do their thing.
“It’s magnificent to watch Dale Steyn and to have a front row seat while Vernon Philander, Morne Morkel and Jacques Kallis perform the way they do with the ball.
“It’s really exciting and it’s something special just to be part of it.” – Sapa