Reeza Hendricks, who Alviro Petersen says is one of the SA top order batsmen who must perform in their crunch World Cup match against England. Picture: REUTERS/DINUKA LIYANAWATTE
Reeza Hendricks, who Alviro Petersen says is one of the SA top order batsmen who must perform in their crunch World Cup match against England. Picture: REUTERS/DINUKA LIYANAWATTE

Former Proteas opening batter Alviro Petersen says the SA top order must fire on all cylinders when they take on England in the must-win ICC T20 World Cup match on Saturday.

The Proteas are up against in-form England, who have won all four group matches, in what is effectively a quarterfinal shoot-out at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.

Looking at the clash that will determine if SA progress to the semifinal stage, Petersen said the likes of Quinton de Kock, Reeza Hendricks, Rassie van der Dussen, Aiden Markram and David Miller must score big.

“Going into the tournament, you sensed that it was a decent top order,” he said. “Obviously you would like some of your top order batters going out there to get scores of 80 or even a hundred like Jos Buttler did for England on Monday. You need the top order to really fire by getting those 50-plus scores.

“I know you can’t consistently do that when you look at individual batters but as a team you must at least be able to do it with one or two of the batters.

“It doesn’t have to be one person all the time but at least there must be one from the top five or six who goes out there and puts the big runs on the board. From a bowling point of view, we are fine, with our pace bowlers bowling quickly and our spinners doing really well.”

Markram is the only SA player to have scored a half-century at the tournament for the Proteas with Bavuma, Van der Dussen and Hendricks having had good starts.

The Proteas player yet to set the tournament alight is opening batter De Kock, and Petersen says the stage is set for him to step up.

“He [De Kock] is certainly among the key men. He is certainly the best batter in the Proteas side and he needs to come to the party. We know  something happened with him last week but he needs to put that behind him and … perform.

“The most important thing is that he is there and he has shown in many games and over many years that he is the one player who can take the game away from the opposition.”

Petersen said that England will not be easy to beat.

“England are rated as one of the most balanced teams in this tournament because there is responsibility within the squad and they have the skill and determination.

“From an SA point of view, they must look at themselves and not the opposition. I don’t think that we have played to our potential yet because some of the guys are scared to fail and they must change the mindset.

“If you look at the way Jos Buttler batted for England, England would not have scored that big and possibly the game would have been gone for them.

“What you want from your top order is someone to really knuckle down and attack when [he needs] to and effectively win the game for SA. If they do that, they can go all the way.”


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