Pakistan v SA
Criticism of bowlers unfair
Abu Dhabi – With the Test series against Pakistan balancing on a knife edge, the South African bowlers should now be encouraged and not crucified.
Although the Proteas let a golden opportunity slip through their fingers on Tuesday, the visitors still "Dominated" the Test on a "Cemetery for bowlers".
So says Alviro Petersen, the touring side's opening batsman, after the first Test in Dubai ended in a draw with the home team's Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq leading a brave fightback more than four hours.
The deciding match between these two teams will begin on Saturday in the Sheikh Zayed stadium.
"The criticism of our bowlers is unfair, because we dominated the Test throughout," Petersen told Sport24.
"The pitch became easier to bat on after every day and that is why both teams were able to take only three wickets over the last two days."
Ironically, Petersen was one of those wickets, which came when Sri Lankan referee Asoka de Silva wrongfully ruled him leg before wicket.
This after a mighty 22 wickets fell in the first three days.
Thanks to three missed catches (one each by Mark Boucher, Jacques Kallis and Hashim Amla), the Proteas could only topple a single wicket in the day's play – the first time since 1995 that this has happened.
Back then, the South Africans were unable to get rid of England's tenacious batting partners Mike Atherton and Jack Russel at the Wanderers.
Petersen said the touring side hoped that the pitch in Abu Dhabi would be less of a cemetery for bowlers: "We haven't had a chance to look at it, but hopefully it will be kinder to bowlers so that we can get a result," he said.