India captain Virat Kohli and No. 3 Cheteshwar Pujara are “a little bit of a headache” for South Africa, with the team looking to get them early on Day 3 of the third Test that decides the series, Proteas batsman Keegan Petersen said here on Wednesday.
India again lost their opening match cheaply in the second innings, but then Pujara (9) and Kohli (14) took charge and extended their overall lead to 70 points on the second day.
“The point is to pick up a couple of early wickets tomorrow morning… The two bats now are a bit of a headache for us in the last few innings,” Peterson told the media after the second day. Interaction said the proceedings.
In the first innings, Kohli topped the scoring with a well-crafted 201-ball 79, while Pujara steadied the game with a 77-ball 43 after early dismissals by KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal.
“He (Coley) is one of the best batsmen in the world and he’s proven it time and time again. Yes, he’s going to be a big wicket tomorrow, if we can get his wicket early Gates, it will open the game.” Peterson, who had 72 of 166 balls, was the home team’s top scorer as they were sacked by India on 210 balls, leading by 13 in the opening innings.
“If we get over the deficit and take a little lead, we’ll be happy. That’s the plan going into the game today,” he said.
Peterson made his second 50-game series on Wednesday against some of the top Indian speed bowlers.
The 28-year-old led South Africa’s counterattack after Jasprit Bumrah cancelled out the opener early in the third Test that decided the series.
“It (India’s pace attack) was extremely challenging. It was the most challenging in my entire career. You have to always focus on your goals or they will expose you.
“They test you in terms of scoring, there aren’t many scoring chances. They don’t give us much. They’re arguably one of the best bowling attacks in the world. We know going into the series, it’s challenging, we just It has to be dealt with,” Peterson said.
On missing a century for the second time in the series, he said: “Honestly, it’s not a lack of trying. It’s just eluding us now. Yeah, I got close but didn’t get there to disappoint the team. But I think it will eventually arrival.”