Petersen given the all-clear

2013-05-15 00:00

HIGHVELD Lions skipper Alviro Petersen has been cleared to replace Graeme Smith in the Protea squad for next month’s Champions Trophy tournament in England.

While Cricket South Africa announced the replacement, due to Smith having an ankle injury, Petersen’s addition to the squad had to be approved by the event technical committee of the tournament.

All has been cleared and Petersen is set to take his place at the top of the batting order, despite playing his last one-dayer for the Proteas against Sri Lanka, at the Wanderers, in January last year.

He only has 17 one-day internationals to his name, but convenor of selectors Andrew Hudson is confident that Petersen’s selection is the right decision.

“We have replaced like with like. Alviro is a specialist opener and his experience brings some stability to the team with the loss of Smith and [Jacques] Kallis,” said Hudson.

Petersen is currently playing for Somerset in the England County Championship Division One, where he is enjoying a rich vein of form.

He has played three matches and has scored close to 500 runs, with two centuries and an average hovering in the high 80s. No doubt this form and the experience of playing on English pitches were major factors in his call-up for national one-day duty.

“This tournament is being played early in the English summer and because of this, we think bowling conditions will favour seamers early on,” said Hudson.

“Our one-day form has been a little erratic of late and good starts with solid partnerships up front is vital if we are to succeed.

“Alviro handled these conditions well on the tour last year — he made a marathon 182 in the first innings of the second Test at Leeds — and his current form indicates he has a liking for the conditions. He will play a vital part in our progress and is the right replacement for someone of Smith’s calibre,” said Hudson.

Petersen has scored 437 runs in his 17 one-dayers, with a highest score of 80 and an average of 31,21.

The Champions Trophy is from June 6 to 23.

REVISED PROTEA SQUAD

AB de Villiers (captain), Hashim Amla, Farhaan Behardien, JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Colin Ingram, Rory Kleinveldt, Ryan McLaren, David Miller, Morné Morkel, Alviro Petersen, Robbie Peterson, Aaron Phangiso, Dale Steyn, Lonwabo Tsotsobe.

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