South African batter Keegan Petersen said that the hosts will aim restrict India’s lead under 200 in the ongoing second Test as anything in excess to this will be difficult to chase on a pitch that is getting tougher by the day.
The seasoned duo of Cheteshwar Pujara (35 batting) and Ajinkya Rahane (11 batting) showed positive intent in the back-end of day two as India recovered to 85 for 2 from 44 for 2 to take an overall 58-run lead.
“The more they get the more it’s gonna be for us to get. It’s a difficult bowling attack to come up against,” Petersen, who was South Africa’s top-scorer in the first innings, said after day two’s proceedings.
“So realistically, I’d say anything under 200 maybe would be a good totals chase but the more they get, the further away it makes for us.”
Against some top quality Indian bowling, the 28-year-old notched up his maiden half-century- a defiant 62 off 118 balls in his fourth Test appearance.
Petersen’s 118-ball knock came to an end shortly before lunch when he was caught at second slip by Mayank Agarwal after he edged the ball off the bowling of Shardul Thakur who returned with a careerbest 7 for 61.
“It’s gonna be tough in the rest of the Test. Pitch is definitely not going to get easier to bat on. There was some top quality bowling attack this morning that kept us on our toes all the time,” Petersen said.
“So I’m happy. I wish I could have done more to put the team in a better position. But we will take it as it comes.
“They (Indian bowlers) came out all guns blazing. It was a challenging two hours in the morning session. Both the conditions and the way they executed their plans, it was just good bowling and very tricky.”
Petersen credited his dad Dirk Petersen for his solid technique that was on full display on day two.
“I have been batting the same way since I was a kid. My only thanks to my dad who is the only guy working with me all his life. So it comes naturally I think.”
“He played cricket a little bit. I was a kid when he was at the back end of his career in club cricket and that’s how I was dragged along,” he recalled about his journey.
Petersen Senior’s cricket career saw him share the field as part of the Western Province B team in the late 1980s and early 90s.
– With inputs from PTI