A BATTING WITH BIMAL BREAKING REPORT: Faf du Plessis and Robin Peterson set to become regulars in Test side after outstanding performance against Australia

Peterson and du Plessis have already established themselves as a lethal pair in the limited overs format

Aside from retaining their number one Test team ranking after beating Australia 1-0 in their recently concluded three-Test series, South Africa have also found two players, who are set to become regulars in the side for future series.

Batsman Faf du Plessis impressed all his South African team-mates by scoring 78 and 110 in the second Test at Adelaide before following it up with yet another 78 runs in the first innings of the final Test at Perth.

However, spin bowler Robin Peterson has also captured the attention of his team-mates and the national selectors after taking six wickets during the final Test.

Du Plessis noted that he seized his opportunity to shine and learnt all about it from a rather unlikely place, the Indian Premier League (IPL).

“Competition is great for the team,” he said. “I grew a lot from the experience of competing with [Michael] Hussey and I learnt to make sure that when I get the chance to score runs, I do.”

Both of du Plessis’ innings during the second Test turned out to be live-savers for South Africa as they managed to end the match as a draw after looking in a very precarious position early on.

“I’ve really pushed the ceiling in four-day cricket over the last two years and I really enjoy trying to score hundreds,” he said.

Du Plessis noted that after scoring a half century in the first innings of the second Test and following it up with a century in the second, he knew that he had severely dented the confidence of his opposition.

“For us, just to hang on was important,” he said. “Afterwards, the whole team had the sense that the Australians threw everything at us and we still managed to hang on. We knew that to turn around, mentally and physically, after that would be tough for them.”

However, du Plessis added that playing under a lot of pressure, with the weight of the entire country on his back, felt like running a “marathon”.

“After five days, you feel like you have run the Comrades Marathon,” he said. “I love it.”

Meanwhile, Peterson was just pleased to have a successful Test match against Australia, especially after his only notable moment prior to the final Test was being hit for 28 runs in one over by West Indies batting great Brian Lara.

“It always comes up but really, it was just the way I bowl,” Peterson said. “I kept tossing it up and I felt I was in with a chance. There’s no disgrace in being tonked by Brian Lara.”

Peterson attributed his improved bowling to playing county cricket for Derbyshire in England.

“With county cricket, you learned to play cricket week in and week out and having to get yourself up mentally to perform all the time,” he said.

The spin bowler also admitted that prior to this Test and the World Cup in 2011, his was not feeling comfortable with his bowling style, but with help from the national team coaching staff and playing county cricket in England, Peterson feels that he has never bowled better in his career.

“I’m being myself more now,” Peterson said. “The skill level never changed but it’s more about being comfortable with who you are as a person. It comes with maturity and growing up.”

Peterson has also been around long enough to notice how confident the national team has become from what they used to be a couple years ago.

“We’re a lot smarter and lot more prepared to take risks, which we wouldn’t have been in the past,” he said. “It comes with maturity as people. If you look around, Hashim is playing the best he has ever played, Graeme has also gone to a new level, and guys like Faf are coming in and performing under pressure.”

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