South Africa expects Petersen to fix hitting problems against West Indies | Cricket news

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South Africa expects Petersen to fix hitting problems against West Indies |  Cricket news


South Africa will debut middle-order hitter Keegan Petersen as they seek solutions for a fragile top-six lineup in the first test of a two-game series against the West Indies in Saint Lucia on Thursday.
The Tourists have a dominant record against their hosts, who have won just three of their previous 28 matches, though recent testing has been rare and this is only the second series in a decade.
Ailing South Africa has passed 300 just twice in its last 19 test innings, having lost several hard-core hitters in international retirement, including the most recent Faf du Plessis following its 2-0 loss in Pakistan in February.
They have fallen to No. 7 in the ICC World Rankings, their lowest joint position and below the West Indies.
Petersen has had to wait patiently after being involved with the team for much of the past two years without being in the starting eleven.
“I’ve been nervous for a while,” he told reporters. “It gives me goose bumps thinking about that. I know I’ll have big boots to fill.
“This is what we dream about when we were kids and eventually when the dream comes true, it gives your system a little impact.
“I have been present, so for me to try it from the side means a lot because I know where I come from and I know that the journey has been hard and long. But for that we work.
The West Indies have been gaining some momentum in their four Tests this year, including a 2-0 series win in Bangladesh and back-to-back draws at home to Sri Lanka, in which they were largely on top but frustrated by flat batting grounds.
Teenage fast bowler Jayden Seales of Trinidad and Tobago received a call to the 13-man squad after an injury forced seasoned Shannon Gabriel to retire, while the batters Shai hope, which was discarded last year, and Kieran Powell make a comeback, along with a spinning SUV Roston chase.
Seales has only played a single top-class game in his young career and is seen as a great prospect for the future with his pace, and could form a sewing quartet with Kemar roach, Jason holder and Joseph Alzarri. Rahkeem Cornwall is likely to be the revolving choice.

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