Proteas need a plan for England’s threats with bat and ball - Peterson

Warriors coach Robin Peterson during a press conference at St George's Park on January 30 2020 in Port Elizabeth.
Warriors coach Robin Peterson during a press conference at St George's Park on January 30 2020 in Port Elizabeth.
Image: Michael Sheehan/Gallo Images

Former South Africa spinner Robin Peterson says the Proteas players need to have solid plans to counter England’s double batting and bowling threats in the T20 series that starts at Newlands on Friday night.

Peterson‚ who claimed 24 wickets in 21 T20s for SA‚ said the Proteas are going to be tested by the likes of Eoin Morgan‚ Jonny Bairstow‚ Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes with the bat‚ and Jofra Archer‚ Chris Jordan‚ Mark Wood‚ Adil Rashid‚ Moeen Ali with the ball.

“I think they are a well balanced team and they are not world champions for nothing in ODIs. During the last T20 World Cup in India‚ they lost to the West Indies in the final and there is no doubt that white ball cricket is their strength at the moment as a country‚” said Peterson‚ who is the coach of the Warriors.

Looking closer at England’s strengths with the bat‚ Peterson said they have depth.

“Our bowlers will be challenged against their batters because they bat quite deep and they have an aggressive mindset‚ which is what you want in T20 cricket. Our bowling disciplines and skill levels are going to be tested to the limit.

“Our bowlers must nail the yorkers‚ execute properly during death bowling‚ bowl well during the powerplay and produce quality spin. The question is‚ can Tabraiz Shamsi create a little bit of drama? But I think it’s going to be a good test for our bowlers.”

With regards to England’s pace attack‚ Peterson said South Africa’s batsman should try to make the bowlers uncomfortable by attacking them.

“They have a very good pace attack with Jofra Acher and Mark Wood. Generally in T20 cricket you can’t sit back‚ you have to go out there and play your shots.

“Their fast bowlers are threats and they have the ability to win games but at the end of the day you can’t allow them to settle and find their rhythm.

“You have to fight fire with fire a little bit and that’s what T20 cricket is all about. It’s about trying to dictate the pace of the game and you can’t allow them to settle‚ no matter how good they are and what pace they possess.”

The Proteas have not played together as a team for almost a year because of Covid-19 and Peterson said they must have a positive mindset.

“Most of our players have not played white ball cricket‚ some of them have been playing in the Indian Premier League (IPL) but everyone has been playing cricket at training and during pre-season at their provinces.

“I think the mentality has to be positive – you can’t allow things to unfold but you have to dictate the pace. I would like to see positivity in the batting with Quinton de Kock at the forefront so that the rest can follow suit.

“There are a couple of faces in the middle of the order‚ they need to step up and start firing because the opportunity is there against probably the best white ball team in the world.

“Conditions at Newlands are generally quite good and batter friendly. I think we must expect a lot of runs.

“In the past there have been a lot of high-scoring games in the MSL and even in the previous T20 internationals. It will be a good challenge for the bowlers.”

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