Broad backs batsmen to take lead
Stuart Broad insists England need to produce a strong batting performance if they are to win the second Investec Test against South Africa at Headingley Carnegie and square the three-match series.
Alviro Petersen cashed in on Andrew Strauss’ decision to field first yesterday, compiling 182 off 365 balls - his best Test score - as South Africa again frustrated England.
Although JP Duminy propelled his side to 419 all out with an unbeaten 48, Strauss and Alastair Cook batted solidly to reach 48 without loss when bad light and rain halted their reply.
Broad believes England need to be patient tomorrow and try to replicate the performance against India last year when Cook scored 294 as England racked up a mammoth total.
“It’s pretty even. Being none down tonight was vital for us and tomorrow morning will be huge,” he said. “We have to bat as big and as long as we possibly can.
“We need one of those sorts of Edgbaston knocks (against India in 2011) and then put South Africa under pressure on the last day because this wicket will eventually get lower and that’s where the four quick bowlers come in to it.
“We need to learn from what the South Africans' did well; we are in no rush with the bat. We just need to settle in, take our time and build as big a total as we can.
“You look up not down at Headingley. When the sun was up it was fantastic for batting and, when there is a little bit more cloud around, you get some encouragement as a bowler.”
Broad had no problems acclimatising to the conditions, ending Petersen’s innings en route to figures of 3-96 from 35 overs.
The Nottinghamshire paceman admired the way England’s four-man pace attack kept their discipline, but admitted Petersen stopped them in their tracks as they looked to make early inroads.
“There is always that expectation and pressure when you win the toss and bowl but, wicket wise, I don’t think it was difficult to bat on,” he added.
“It took a fantastic knock from Petersen; although he played and missed a lot, he played fantastically well to get there.
“It took one of those knocks to stop us from bowling them out cheaper. We stuck to it quite well as a bowling unit; the wicket was quite slow, although it did seam on the odd occasion. It did enough where the players could play inside the line.”
Proteas assistant coach Russell Domingo, who confirmed Petersen was going for a scan on a hamstring strain in his right leg, was satisfied with the position his team are in.
“At start of play yesterday, if someone said, you would be 420 all out on that wicket in the second Test match when you are 1-0 up, then we would have taken it hands down,” he said.
“We are pretty happy with where we are at the moment. We know there is a lot of hard work ahead.
“We probably didn’t make them play enough and we know we need to improve those skills tomorrow. You are not going to get it 100% all the time, but it’s not through a lack of effort.”
Petersen was the stand-out performer for the tourists again with his fourth Test ton, and Domingo added: “He is a match-winner and a guy who can get really big scores. He has had a really good start to his Test career.”