An aggressive mind-set and a more rejuvenated mental state have contributed to Robin Peterson’s new-found confidence and his call up to the national squad for the first test against the West Indies at SuperSport Park in Centurion from 17th December.
His colleague at the Nashua Cape Cobras Dane Piedt is still side-lined following shoulder surgery after making a successful test debut against Zimbabwe earlier in 2014.
Peterson will possibly return to the South African playing eleven, unless the management and selectors pick Kyle Abbott as a fourth seam bowler.
Probed about his performances the past six months which has seen him take four for 32 in the fifth One Day International against Australia and three for 28 against the same opponents in a T20-International, Peterson said he feels rejuvenated after playing almost non-stop for 18 months in the international arena.
He said he suffered mentally because of too much cricket.
But he has also become more offensive in his approach to bowling. “Fast bowlers can use the bouncers, but as slow bowler you can be more aggressive. I am definitely less defensive.”
In the pre-season, Peterson nabbed out 10 wickets for Surrey at an average of 35.20 in the T20-competition in England.
His performance in the Momentum One Day Cup competition, which included a superb five for 25 against the Chevrolet Warriors, moved Vincent Barnes, a former South African bowling coach, to remark that he has not seen Peterson bowl this well for a few seasons.
“I think my change of pace is my main weapon,” said Peterson. “I don’t spin the ball that much.”
That change of pace accounted for Rilee Rossouw, Gerhardt Abrahams and Obus Pienaar on Sunday as the Cobras booked their place in a home-final of the Ram Slam T20 Challenge campaign. Peterson was superb in the middle-period to put the skids under the chasing Chevrolet Knights.
Asked about the pitch and surface at SuperSport Park, Peterson said: “It is a smallish ground, but the bounce can be an ally. If you stray there, it can be a bit of an unforgiving ground.”