Petersen focus on 'good cricket'

  • Last Updated: November 20 2012, 12:57 GMT

South Africa opener Alviro Petersen does not believe the Proteas need to win in Australia to justify their position at the top of the world Test rankings.

Alviro Petersen: Prepares for second Test

The tourists won on their last visit Down Under - 2-1 in 2008/09 - and went on to become the only team to be ranked number one in all three formats of the game.

Despite slipping to second and fifth in the one-day international and Twenty20 rankings respectively, South Africa remain the top Test team while Australia sit third.

Asked whether South Africa had to reaffirm their Test credentials with another series win against a reinvigorated and new-look Australia side, Petersen said: "We did it last time...I don't know how many times we have to do it.

"Last time we beat them here in Australia we weren't the number one Test team in the world and we were chasing (the ranking), this time we are holding on to it.

"The basics remain the same though, we want to win Tests and it's important that we do that in the next couple of games.

"We've played good cricket under pressure and we've played good cricket home and away...that's why we are the number one Test team in the world and that will count for a lot.

"We have come together as a unit - it's like a collective force - and from that point of view we are very comfortable with ourselves as a team.

"We will try and do exactly the same as what we've done in the last couple of years to bring us to that number one status."

Petersen also welcomed any further sledging the Australian bowlers intended to throw their way.

Victoria fast bowler Peter Siddle told Channel Nine News earlier this week he felt the Proteas' top-order were "distracted" by the verbal onslaught he and fellow paceman James Pattinson engaged in.

And he predicted more of the same when the second Test got under way at the Adelaide Oval on Thursday.

Petersen replied: "If that's their strategy then so be it, but I don't know about being distracted because I didn't see any of our batsmen distracted.

"Cricket remains a game that will be played on the pitch, fortunately, so when you say stuff you have to back it up on the have to back it up with actions.

"Sometimes it's nice to get some verbals from the opposition anyway - sometimes it can turn you on."

Australia enjoyed the better of the opening Test in Brisbane - captain Michael Clarke leading the way with a brilliant 259 not out - but could not convert their superiority into victory.

Leading all-rounder Shane Watson missed the Gabba encounter with a calf strain and has already said he would not be fit to contribute with the ball if selected for Adelaide.

And while he is eager to play solely as a batsman, former skipper Ricky Ponting is adamant he should not be selected if he is not 100 per cent fit.

Ponting said: "No one can go into a Test match 70 per cent fit.

"I don't care if you're a batsman and a slip fielder. If you can't bat at 100 per cent, then you are putting pressure on other blokes as well.

"It doesn't matter what we think as team-mates, he will have a certain lot of criteria he will have to pass."

A decision on Watson will be made tomorrow or Thursday morning, although Rob Quiney - who made his Test debut in Brisbane - is expected to retain his spot at number three.

Another selection dilemma Australia face is whether to drop paceman Ben Hilfenhaus for left-arm quick Mitchell Starc.

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