Australia to target Proteas' spinner

David Warner says Australia will respect Robin Peterson's skills, but pressure him with the bat all the same. Picture: REUTERS
David Warner says Australia will respect Robin Peterson's skills, but pressure him with the bat all the same. Picture: REUTERS


They belted Graeme Swann into retirement, now Australia will look to dent the confidence of South African spinner Robin Peterson.

The Proteas' fearsome pace attack is headlined by Vernon Philander and Dale Steyn, No 1 and No 2 in the ICC's Test bowling rankings.

But their search for a game-changing Test spinner continues.

Peterson was chosen for the upcoming series against Australia ahead of legspinner Imran Tahir, who finished with match figures of 0-260 in Adelaide in 2012.

He is a left-arm finger spinner who has played most of his international cricket in coloured clothes, managing 14 Tests in a career that started in 2003.

David Warner suggested Australia would "respect" Peterson, who snared match figures of 6-171 when the two sides last met at the WACA in 2012.

But the hard-hitting opener made no secret of the fact his side wants to pile pressure on the chirpy 34-year-old.

"Robin Peterson is a bit 'out there' and likes to get into verbal contests. Sometimes, as a batter, if they've got that chip on their shoulder we're willing to take them down a bit more," Warner said yesterday.

"I think they'll use probably [JP] Duminy and him probably simultaneously.

"They've got to hold up one end as well as they can, and if we put pressure on both of them they're going to have to bring back their quicks.

"I think that's a job we did very well against England ... any team that has quality fast bowlers, always try and take down the spinner."

Warner, speaking before the Australians travelled to Centurion to train, also took a swipe at Philander.

"I would have liked to see him bowl at Adelaide in that second Test [in 2012] when he apparently hurt his back and was bowling in the nets three days later," he said.

"If it becomes flat we've got to make the most of it and try to get on top of him, but if it's green and seaming we've got to try and respect him as much as we can."

It's a mantra Warner will look to apply to all of the South African bowlers when the first Test starts on Wednesday at Centurion.

"The quality of bowling they've got you have to respect it, and when they're bowling loose you've got be aggressive," he said of his gameplan for the three-Test series.

Warner is back in South Africa for the first time since being banished to Australia A's tour of the republic during his Ashes purgatory.



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