Alviro set to return in place of De Kock, but where will he play?

2014-02-26 00:00

PORT ELIZABETH — The SA selectors have some thinking to do before the third Test at Newlands.

It seems clear that Alviro Petersen will be back in place of Quinton de Kock, but the question remains, where will he play? Will he return to his position anchoring the top of the order, or will the selectors keep faith with Gra­eme Smith and Dean Elgar as openers?

Petersen missed the second Test because of a stomach ailment, while De Kock was slotted in at number six following his eleventh-hour call-up.

Elgar, picked ahead of Robin Peterson and expected to bat at six, moved up to open and scored an excellent 83 in the first innings.

His partnerships with Faf du Plessis and AB de Villiers kept the side on track. Elgar was especially impressive against the new ball, deftly negotiating Mitchell Johnson’s opening overs and making it possible to execute SA’s plan to keep the Australians in the field as long as possible.

There is now a worry that if Elgar was moved back down the order, his more cautious style would cramp the Proteas’ momentum later in the innings. There is also the fear that he struggles to keep the scoreboard ticking with singles against spin bowling.

But moving Petersen down the order would be a bit unfair. He is the experienced opening batsman and deserves the respect of being allowed to bat where he is most comfortable.

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