Johannesburg — South Africans finally have a ’KP’ we can all get behind in Paarl’s finest, Keegan Petersen.
IOL Sport’s Stuart Hess gives us a recap from the day’s action at the Wanderers, where Petersen starred with the bat, scoring an impressive 62 in South Africa’s innings.
KP - A ‘KP’ South Africans can actually get behind. His was a delightful innings, the seeds of which were planted in the foothills of the Klein Drakenstein mountains, where Petersen’s dad Dirkie would throw him thousands of balls. Everything about Petersen screams class, his solidity on defence, his balance at the point of contact, and those lovely cover drives. His 62 on Tuesday, will hopefully be the launch pad for his Test career.
THE ‘ERR’ CATCH: So Pant had claimed a catch earlier, with Van der Dussen also the batter, and the ball dropping short. That time the ball had flicked the pad. On the stroke of lunch the inside edge was clearer, the catch less so. Replays suggested the ball had bounced in front of Pant. The SA skipper had a chat with the officials at lunch, but the on-field decision stood.
30 MINUTES BEFORE LUNCH AND TEA: South Africa’s batters did some hard work for the majority of the morning and afternoon session and then undid all of it as the subsequent breaks approached. Before lunch they lost 3/14 in six overs and before tea, 3/17 in 4.3 overs.
THAKUR: The man who did the damage, doesn’t get the spotlight like his mates Bumrah, Shami and Siraj. Shardul Thakur certainly benefited from the pressure they created especially in the first session on Tuesday, but he showed exemplary skill and aggression to finish with 7/61 in 17.5 overs - the sixth best figures by an India bowler in a Test away from home.
THE PITCH: It ain’t easy for batting. The bounce is very difficult to deal with, and the odd one has kept low as well. There is help for the seamers as Thakur and Shami found, and Bumrah had it swinging. India were accurate with their lines, making scoring hard and that looks like it will become increasingly the case with variable bounce coming into play.