Alviro Petersen says Dane Vilas should never have replaced Quinton de Kock as South Africa’s Test wicketkeeper.
In a wide-ranging interview with SACricketmag.com, Petersen also shared his thoughts on Stiaan van Zyl as an opener as well as the transformation issue which was recently raised by a group of black players.
‘Dane Vilas wasn’t the right decision to replace Quinton de Kock,’ Petersen said. ‘I can’t see the rationale in picking him. I would have liked to see Quinton continue in the role. He is the future, everyone knows that.
‘There is only one out-and-out wicketkeeper in the country and that is Thami Tsolekile. There can be no dispute that he is the best gloveman in the country. If he was there instead of Vilas, Quinton could feed off him and learn because Thami is a very experienced player. But Quinny is ready to take the gloves again.’
Petersen gave his backing to Stiaan van Zyl as a Test opener, expressing the hope that he would get time to establish himself at the top of the order.
‘Stiaan should be given as much time as possible,’ Petersen said. ‘He has been around, scored runs, was identified as a Test player, waited his turn and took the chance when the opportunity arose.
‘I think he can be successful as an opener and he should be picked even beyond the England series.’
A group of black players recently wrote a letter to Cricket South Africa to air their disappointment at the lack of opportunities for them at national level.
The letter detailed black players’ disappointment at how they are being used, especially when it comes to national sides. The final straw that prompted the letter is said to be the decision by the Proteas team management on the current tour of India to fly Dean Elgar over there as cover for the injured JP Duminy, despite Khaya Zondo being a member of the touring ODI squad as batting cover.
Elgar was subsequently picked ahead of Zondo for the final ODI against India, which South Africa won by 214 runs. Another example mentioned was that of Aaron Phangiso, who was the only player in the World Cup squad not to play a game at the tournament.
Petersen said the letter contained some valid points, but didn’t agree with the Zondo/Elgar example.
‘I’m speaking under correction, but my understanding of CSA’s transformation policy is that when two players are on par, selection should weigh towards the black player,’ Petersen said.
‘Therefore, because Elgar is far ahead of Zondo as a batsman, the transformation policy doesn’t come into it. However, a possible point of contention could be why Zondo was selected in the first place. That could perhaps be an issue which needs to be looked at.’