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Ken Borland

Exciting new faces makes Proteas win even more exceptional

Posted on February 11, 2022 by Ken

Amidst all the exultation over South Africa’s exceptional series win over India there has been the added positive of two exciting new faces exposing their talents with excellent performances in the Proteas Test team.

Keegan Petersen, who had played just two Tests before tackling arguably the best bowling attack in world cricket, ended as the Man of the Series, scoring 276 runs (the most) at an average of 46.00. He batted with tremendous poise, skill and toughness, but also played a pleasing array of strokes.

Marco Jansen, the 21-year-old who made his debut in the first Test at Centurion, took 19 wickets, second only to KG Rabada’s 20, at 16.47. The beanpole bowled with pace, fire and bounce, but also exhibited the priceless ability for a left-arm quick to move the ball both ways.

“We had two youngsters who just came in and played very good cricket,” Proteas coach Mark Boucher said. “Keegan did not start as well as he would have liked in the West Indies and at SuperSport Park.

“But he always showed signs of being the player we see right now. He stuck to his guns and Dean Elgar really backed him. He’s a tough nut and playing at No.3, especially in South Africa, you’ve got to be.

“You’ve got to know your game and I’m a bit lost for words at how well Keegan did. It was a big series against big players, he won Man of the Series, which was fully deserved and I’m very happy for him,” Boucher said.

While Jansen’s selection may have surprised some people, Boucher was always comfortable with it having seen what the Potchefstroom product had shown as a member of the touring squads to Pakistan and the West Indies in the last year.

“There were a lot of questions around Marco‘s selection, but we saw what he had in Pakistan and the West Indies,” Boucher said. “It was just a matter of him coming through because we knew his skill-set and the variation he brings.

“Now everyone can see what a find he is. He’s only 21, so he still has a lot of cricket to learn, but we’ve seen a lot of great signs. And he can bat as well.

“He’s going to be a superstar in the future,” Boucher said.

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