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Rebuilding not an excuse for SA's Test series loss - Petersen

South Africa lost the fourth and final match against England at the Wanderers by 191 runs to lose the series 3-1.

South Africa's Dean Elgar (front C) walks back to the pavilion after his dismissal by England's Jofra Archer during the second day of the first Test cricket match between South Africa and England at SuperSport Park Stadium at Centurion near Pretoria on 27 December 2019. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - Alviro Petersen believes that the Proteas' rebuilding process is not a good enough excuse for their Test series defeat to England.

South Africa lost the fourth and final match at the Wanderers by 191 runs, to lose the series 3-1.

Looking at a way forward for the team, Petersen believes Mark Boucher and his coaching team must make serious calls.

“Every time the team loses, we jump to the same thing, ‘we are rebuilding’,” he said to Eyewitness News. “Every team rebuilds. England are rebuilding but they beat us 3-1 in our own back yard. So, we mustn’t use that excuse anymore. Rebuilding is an excuse."

Petersen, a former Proteas player himself, added that a decision must be made on Faf du Plessis, whose top score was 36 runs in the series, and the captaincy.

“If I was the coach, I would certainly sit down and look at the leadership and have a discussion with Faf and say: ‘Right, this is where you are, where do you find yourself in your career and let’s try and move on as swiftly as possible’. Then coming to the captaincy, you have to look at someone who is the first name on the team sheet, in terms of performance. And that is one player at the moment, and that is Quinton de Kock, who in terms of performance, makes the team.

There is no use looking at other players that might not make the team and might get dropped in two or three games because of performance. Because generally teams and players take their lead from their captain."

He has also called for patience when it came to the form of Du Plessis, asking who would replace hime if he was removed from the side.

“If there is anyone better than Faf, then yes, replace him but I can’t see anyone better than him at the moment,” he said. “It’s just the way South African cricket is. It’s the place we find ourselves in. South African supporters have a lot of emotions when someone doesn’t do well, and one brings up the topic, whether it’s a commentator or someone in the media, then everyone jumps unto it."

While Boucher would have learned harsh lessons on his first assignment as Proteas head coach, Petersen believes hat he should be given at least six months before he can be judged for his results.

“It’s difficult to assess when you’ve just been hammered by England, who also have a young team,” he reflected.

“What the coach does, he creates the environment for the players to perform and express themselves and unfortunately for the players, to express themselves they can only do that in the middle. That then gives a good or not so good reflection on the coach.

“I know Mark and I have played with him. He is an old school type of player and he understands what is needed to win the game. Players just didn’t do it. So, from that point of view, you have to give him some leeway and let’s see how six months or a year from now, where he is in building the team."

With no South African batsman getting a century throughout the Test series, Petersen believes there is a much deeper issue resulting in the lack of runs.