Petersen - South Africa comfortable

PA Sport
Alviro Petersen isn't concerned by Australian sledging

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Alviro Petersen isn't concerned by Australian sledging

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.

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."

He added: "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."

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