Proteas inspired by Tahir

2011-02-17 22:38

Eduan Roos

Bangalore – Imran Tahir has not just boosted the Proteas’ hopes of winning the World Cup, but also brought the best out of Robin Peterson.

The 31-year-old left-arm spinner admitted to Sport24 on Thursday that Tahir’s meteoric rise over the last few months had fired him and third spinner Johan Botha up.

“I enjoy bowling with him and Johan because we are learning a lot from each other. Imran and I are a similar age and he is undoubtedly playing the best cricket of his career. Hopefully I can say the same after the tournament,” said Peterson.

Tahir, a born Pakistani, got South African citizenship at the end of 2010. He got his first chance in the Green and Gold in the World Cup warm-up match against Zimbabwe. He grabbed it with both hands by taking three wickets and also impressing in the warm-up game against Australia.

Even so, Peterson has been the tour squad’s leading wicket-taker with five, among them three of the world champions’ highly-rated batsmen.

Peterson, whose place in the side has always been questioned since his debut more than eight years ago, believes his recent success is down to the new-found faith of the Proteas in their slow bowlers.

“It has taken South Africa long to embrace spinners as an attacking weapon in one-day cricket, but it has finally happened,” he said.

After just 40 appearances over that period and all but impressive figures on the world stage, his inclusion in the squad for this year’s World Cup has again raised eyebrows.

However, Peterson has learned to take the criticism on the chin.

“I don’t play for my critics, but for my country and the people who have always believed in me. It’s not my fault that I was not in the starting team more often. I could never really relax and be myself because I always had to wonder whether I would play in the next game,” he said.

That has all changed since his return to the side in October – after more than three years in the wilderness.

“I have decided to do things my way – to try and turn the ball as much as possible and get wickets. I don’t expect to take five wickets every time, but I try to bowl at a good length because that always gives you a chance of getting the batsman out.”


  • scott - 2011-02-17 23:56

    positives : peterson has done well lately and good fielder. negatives : with 2 front-line and 2 back-up spinners, theres no real need for him and the side would be perfectly balanced with a finishing power-hitter instead. his international averages suck badly. he is no tahir with the ball and the fact that he was barely selected for 1st team action over the last 9 years says alot. he has never ever stolen the show and named man of the match. he is way too mediocre. im trying to be objective but these are mere facts sorry.

      Mike Hoxbig - 2011-02-18 00:28

      As mediocre as he is, he's still better than Botha. He can swing the bat too (opens for the Warriors). If anybody should be dropped, it should be Botha.

      Gatvol - 2011-02-18 10:22

      I can’t agree more Mike…I’ll be disappointed as well if he (Botha) gets SA captaincy after world cup, Amla is the man for me

      Grant - 2011-02-18 11:37

      I cant decide if Botha is just going through a dip in form, or if he has lost his ability to strangle the batsmen... because of that, its hard to decide between Botha and Peterson at the moment.

  • Sipho - 2011-02-18 02:03

    Botha HAS to be dropped. No way can our selectors and 'clique' not play Tahir and Petersen. We need both of them. Sorry but we have to start grooming another captain for after the WC. Botha OUT now. The man cant bat and dont even get me started about his bowling figures against India in 5 games. 3 wickets only. Botha OUT NOW.

      Grant - 2011-02-18 11:39

      sipho, you cant use only ONE series (in which Peterson did not feature anyway) to compare the bowlers. Botha's stats by FAR out-shine Peterson's. CURRENT form is debatable, yes, but as an outright comparison, you're fooling yourself.

      KickAssKenny - 2011-02-18 13:30

      Grant, Faf got chosen to go to India on 1 performance. David Miller lost out. So while you ask not to judge on 1 series, the selectors decided on 1 performance. Imran Tahir did not play a game for SA before he left for the World Cup. Sipho is justified in what he is saying. BTW, Peterson did play in the last 2 games which SA won. He sacrificed his wicket in PE for Duminy and out bowled Botha.

      Mr. B - 2011-02-18 20:41

      Sipho - why not play three spinners, no jokes...... Botha may not be taking wickets but at an economy rate of just over four, he is an asset. This isn't test cricket, where to win you need to take 20 wickets, all you need to do is get more runs. I'd honestly risk playing all three as a test

  • keegan.ponnen - 2011-02-18 07:40

    well to the spinners. I agree Botha does not spin the ball enough. SA needs Imran in this world cup team.

      jovie - 2011-02-18 08:54

      agree, replace botha with peterson

  • tommy 2 - 2011-02-18 07:57

    Damn! All these years and we have finally figured out what was needed to inspire the Proteas. A pakistani, spin bowler.

      keith.fincham - 2011-02-18 10:01

      Dude that is some funny sh1t. Classic!

  • johnnydee - 2011-02-18 08:55

    If we are gonna play 2 spinners it should be Tahir & Duminy. This will allow us to play an extra batsman. My team: Smith, Amla, DeVilliers,Kallis,Duminy,VanWyk,Ingram,Morkel,Steyn,Tsotsobi,Tahir.This will give us 7 frontline batsman and 4 bowlers with Kallis & Duminy sharing the 5th bowler role.

      goat - 2011-02-18 10:59

      Hi Johnnydee, good coment but its for me it's not about the quantity but rather the quality Ingram struggled against Indian spinners in SA conditions,has not had an opportunity to bat in warm ups and I feel he is really going to struggle I whould rather play du plessis in his place .

      Jonathan - 2011-02-18 15:34

      I agree with goat! Faf showed some qualities and it seems that peopel rate his leggies highly! I wouldn't mind seeing that. I also wouldn't mind seeing Van Wyk taking the gloves and putting AB back in the field, I feel he was more valuable there than behind the stumps!

      CAD59 - 2011-02-18 17:02

      @ Jonathan, now we're talking: give the gloves to van Wyk and let AB be a batsman and BACK UP keeper if required. I would go one further and make v Wyk the captain and opening batsman and if beefy must be in the team, there is No. 7 spot available.

  • Lorenzo - 2011-02-18 11:56

    tough one yes Seeps.I would either alternative between Faf and Tahir depending on the wicket on the day. I must say that Faf has not impressed me yet. He has this knack to be run-out i noticed...lack of comms? possible choke situation might come into play here.Our top order shouldnt let the bottom end have to show their worth under the biggest pressure but in world cups, it works like that.New blood, different attitude.I hope for the best. Oh yes, my guess is that India will win this.

  • Para-gun - 2011-02-19 08:40

    If the proteas are inspired by this secound string player then they are in serious trouble. Who wrote this rubbish? I suppose Imran Tahir,s mother .

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