Man of the Match Keegan Petersen basked in glory after he guided his team to a big win over India in the three-match Test series 2-1. The Proteas beat the visitors by seven wickets and Petersen played a huge role in scoring a fighting 82 before Shardul Thakur let one in through the gates. Later he revealed how conditions were testing at Cape Town, and like a good batter he ‘was trying to be positive.’
“It hasn’t sunk in yet. It’s a mixed bag to be honest. Happy, emotional. I was trying to be positive and then build on that. It’s been difficult conditions all around and was just sticking to my guns. It’s been a long journey, can’t tell the whole story now, won’t be over till tomorrow morning. It’s been challenging surfaces, challenging bowling attacks,” he said.
South Africa resumed from the score of 101/2 and soon reached 15 despite some good bowling from Jasprit Bumrah. Pujara was also guilty of dropping him earlier off Bumrah. Petersen went onto make India pay for the gaffe. “We knew it was going to be difficult - they’re a high quality bowling attack, a high quality team. We just wanted to have the mindset to fight it out. Enjoying it (success) a lot. The longer you bat, the easier it gets (on these pitches). So, just enjoyed it a lot.”
Petersen walked away with both the player of the match as well as player of the series honours. Sunil Gavaskar termed it as a “Nightmare for India" as they were not even close to competing in the last two Tests and Dean Elgar’s ear to ear grin and the bear hugs that he shared with his teammates said it all.
It was especially sweet for the hosts who lost premier pacer Anrich Nortje to injury before the series and were then hit by Quinton de Kock’s sudden mid-series retirement. The Indian team, meanwhile, lost it in their mind after the contentious DRS review of Elgar that went wrong on Thursday and their focus on using stump microphone more to take digs at broadcaster Supersport instead of focussing on getting Petersen out spelt their doom