SA in New Zealand

Alviro fights for England ticket

2012-03-23 09:42
Alviro Petersen (File)
Cape Town - Alviro Petersen is inching his way closer to ensuring his passage to South Africa’s high-stakes Test series in England later this year.

The right-handed opening batsman played the predominantly cautious, anchor role for the Proteas after they were sent in to bat in tricky, damp conditions on a weather-curtailed day one of the final Test against New Zealand at Wellington on Friday.

It was thanks in no small part to his tenacity, if not necessarily standout technique or stroke-play, that the tourists, defending a 1-0 lead in the three-match series, were able to close at the Basin Reserve comfortably placed at 136 for two from 42 overs.

Petersen has not even reached a half-century yet, having used up 113 deliveries for his unbeaten 44, but his watchful cricket has been commendable under the circumstances – he was happy to let Hashim Amla be the “dominator” in his own bright innings of 63 - and the national selectors may be a lot closer to convinced that he warrants his spot on the England tour, the next challenge at five-day level.

The Lions stalwart had not really fired in four previous Test knocks in this series, raising some rightful fresh doubts about the opening berth alongside captain Graeme Smith; it has been a problematic area for the otherwise largely smooth-firing national side for a while.

He is at that phase, in the 13th Test of an already interrupted career, where you want a player in his responsible position to be really coming into his own, and if he goes on to get a truly big score in this innings or match, he will look so much more worthy a candidate for the England assignment.

There are certain parallels, after all, between the minor current uncertainty over a position at the helm of the order and the situation faced on a previous tour of England in 1998.

In a closely-contested five-match series then, South Africa lost 2-1 with a major bugbear for them being the failure to get decent first-wicket partnerships throughout it.

Gary Kirsten, the current coach, was pretty settled in one of the opening slots, but even he struggled for consistency in the series, a solitary knock of 210 at Manchester surrounded by a number of negligible totals from the left-hander.

The primary weak link, however, was his rookie partner Gerhardus Liebenberg, the Free Stater who registered only 59 runs in the series from six innings and quickly disappeared back into the domestic first-class environment afterwards.

It needs to be said that Petersen has already demonstrated, unlike Liebenberg, that he can play - and then some, even - at the highest level.

He sports two Test centuries, including one on debut in Kolkata, and mixes times of unease with others of marked confidence and panache.

Batting conditions have been fairly “English” at the outset of the decisive Basin Reserve encounter, so Petersen’s durability thus far has been especially encouraging.

Particularly with Jacques Kallis an unexpected late absentee from the Test, the 31-year-old going on to a truly meaty score would be worth its weight in gold.

And most definitely get him onto that mid-year plane ...

*Follow our chief writer on Twitter: @RobHouwing

Read more on:    proteas  |  sa in nz  |  rob houwing  |  alviro petersen  |  cricket
NEXT ON SPORT24X

Hashim ticks two key boxes

2014-07-26 19:16

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
18 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
  • SS3
    Sat, 26 Jul 2014 @
    04:00
  • SS4:
    Sat, 26 Jul 2014 @
    05:00
  • SS7:
    Sat, 26 Jul 2014 @
    06:00
  • SS5:
    Sat, 26 Jul 2014 @
    06:00
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Live scoring

 
 
Featured Blog

Dave ask if you would like to meet your local sports heroes and stand the chance to win prizes to the value of over R40 000.

Latest blogs
Vote

How will the Proteas fare in their three Tests against the Black Caps in New Zealand?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

TV schedule Plan your couch time with our searchable sport TV guide

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.