Proteas No 3 batter Keegan Petersen has praised the quality of India’s bowling after his side fell short of the tourists on the second day of the third Test at Newlands on Wednesday.
Jasprit Bumrah took 5-42 as South Africa were bowled out for 210, giving India a first-innings lead of 13 runs, which they stretched to 70 in reaching 57-2 at the close.
The slightly built Petersen, playing in his fifth Test, made 72 but the fragility of the home team’s batting was exposed, with no other batter scoring more than Temba Bavuma’s 28.
“It’s extremely challenging, the most challenging I have faced in my whole career,” said Petersen. “We have to be focused and on your mark all the time or they will expose you.”
Petersen hit nine fours in his 166-ball innings but said scoring was never easy.
“There are not many scoring opportunities. When they do give you an opportunity you have to pounce on it – but they haven’t given us much.”
South Africa hit back at the start of the second innings with Kagiso Rabada dismissing Mayank Agarwal and Marco Jansen accounting for KL Rahul.
But Cheteshwar Pujara and an assured Virat Kohli prevented any further breakthroughs and gave India a useful lead in what has been a low-scoring match, continuing the pattern of a bowler-dominated series which is tied at 1-1.
“We are a bit behind the eight-ball,” admitted Petersen. “If we can get early wickets tomorrow it will be brilliant.”
Although batting conditions on a bright, sunny day appeared to be easier than on the overcast first day, Petersen said the pitch was still aiding the bowlers.
“The ball is nipping around and it is squatting at one end and the other end it is bouncing a bit,” he said.
— Cricket South Africa (@OfficialCSA) January 12, 2022
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