Coach Russell Domingo has vehemently defended the heavily-criticised Alviro Petersen, amid a very poor stretch of form in Test match cricket.
Petersen hasn’t scored a century in the international game’s longest format since January 2013 – and managed a mere 226 runs in a dozen innings this year. The ongoing series against the West Indies, too, has brought weak contributions of 27 and 17.
‘It’s a tough one because he seems to be playing really well in the nets and even in the middle. He looks really good and I don’t think a big score is too far away,’ said Domingo.
‘He knows that if he doesn’t score soon, he is under massive pressure. He is an experienced player, a hell of a slip fielder and offers a lot in the team space.
‘It’s not so easy to throw away a guy who is capable of scoring big centuries. I still think he has got a lot to offer this team.’
The veteran AB de Villiers, meanwhile, has resumed the key role of wicketkeeper-batsman in the absence of the injured Quinton de Kock – and the uncapped Simon Harmer has been added to the squad for the remainder of the three-Test series against the Windies.
‘There are times when AB is going to have to keep wicket and we are very fortunate that he can pick that up. He hasn’t practised his keeping in about six months and he is probably keeping as well as he ever has,’ added Domingo. ‘Where there is an opportunity for him not to keep, we are hoping to pursue that.
‘We’ve got a lot of cricket in the sub-continent in the next few months, so we want to get to know Simon a bit more and then we will make a call on whether we play him.’