Cape Town - Robin Peterson’s man-of-the-match
performance in the Proteas’ four-wicket victory over Pakistan at Newlands has proven his worth as the Proteas’ frontline spinner.
role has been overshadowed by the dominating pace attack that has thrived on
seam friendly playing conditions, but this weekend’s performance was a further
statement of the depth he brings to the squad.
Peterson has played five Tests since making
a comeback into the Proteas’ fold after a four year absence. He scored a
match-changing 84 runs in the Proteas’ first innings, coupled with five wickets
for 167 for his match return.
VIDEO: SA v Pakistan second Test day 4, highlights
“It’s nice to get the man-of-the-match
award,” Peterson said. “But I think it’s more important that we
won a Test match when we were under pressure. That is more of a feather in the
cap, it was a good team effort, even though I’m standing up collecting the award.
There were some magnificent performances by a lot of the guys; I’m probably
just the lucky one to end up with it.”
The left-arm spinner came back after a
disappointing first innings performance to strike with the key wicket of
Misbah-ul-Haq in Pakistan’s second innings, after the skipper looked set to
help the visitors post a challenging victory target for South Africa.
“I thought I wasn’t at my best in the first
innings,” he said. “I’m gradually getting there, there are still a few things
I’m not entirely happy with but it’s a work in progress. You have to deal with
what you have and use it to the best. I was just happy to contribute with
important wickets in this game. It’s not always the five-fors that can set up
the game, it’s sometimes those one or two wickets that a spinner gets that can
open the game up for the team.”
His performance with the bat has seen him
move 44 places up to 100th on the ICC Reliance Test rankings for batsmen.
“I did a lot of work behind the scenes with
“Gaz” (Kirsten), Russell (Domingo) and Rob Walter,” he added. “Just trying to
free myself up mentally and going out there to express myself. They encourage
me to play that way, and I’m just glad that it seemed to work out in the end.”
Hashim Amla, who scored 25 and 58, has
retained his number-one ranking while fourth-ranked AB de Villiers, who scored 61 and 36, has achieved a
career-best rating to date of 851 to lead fifth placed Kumar Sangakkara by nine
ratings points but still trails third-ranked Shivnarine Chanderpaul by 28
ratings points. Australia captain Michael Clarke remains second.
The current series features the top
three Test bowlers in the world, after Saeed Ajmal’s 10 for 147 pushed him to
third on the ICC Reliance Test rankings for bowlers. Vernon Philander has
collected 32 ratings points for his figures of five for 59 and four for 40, while
Dale Steyn is sitting on top of the tree - 18 ratings points ahead of his new
The third and final Test starts at Centurion on Friday.