Robin Peterson will make a long awaited Test debut at his original home ground, Axxess St George’s, when the Castle Lager Proteas take on New Zealand in the second Sunfoil Test match starting on Friday in Port Elizabeth. Peterson spent over 10 years of his first-class career in Port Elizabeth before moving to Cape Town, and feels he has come “full circle” in his fluctuating Test career.
“It feels great,” an excited Peterson said about returning home. “To be able to play two Tests, firstly at my adopted home Newlands and now to where it all began at St George’s, it’s like I’ve really gone full circle.
“ I’m excited to be part of the group, playing at St George’s is always a good occasion for the players, there is a great atmosphere. I have watched a lot of Test matches being played here over the years, I’m finally part of it and hopefully I can put in a performance I can be proud of.”
The Proteas’ venomous attack was the dominating factor during the first Test in Cape Town, however conditions at St George’s have been tipped to be low and slow. The wind has often been a contributing factor in assessing the conditions, and will play a role for Peterson in the spin department.
“The little Easterly breeze that comes in over the scoreboard is the ideal one that you would like to bowl in as a spinner, even for the fast bowlers,” he said. “When the Easterly blows there is swing for the bowlers on offer, and for a left-arm spinner there is a little bit of drift coming into the batter which then spins sharply away.
“I’m sure that the Westerly will come around and that will probably flatten out the track and offer more of a challenge for the spin bowler,” he added.
The absence of Vernon Philander is likely to be the only change to the Proteas victorious team from the first Test, and Peterson is confident Rory Kleinveldt will be able to fill the void left by the seamer.
“ It is a huge blow for Vernon, he has been a good performer in the Test team, he is a critical part of the bowling unit,” Peterson said. “In saying that, Rory has stepped up to the opportunities that have presented themselves, he is capable of doing the job that Vernon has been doing.
“They have bowled in tandem for the Cobras for a long time and they feed off each others’ performances. I’m expecting a big performance from Rory,” he ended.