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Prajakta Pawar in Ahmedabad

We’ll take it one step at a time: Petersen

Highveld Lions skipper says his well-rounded team ready to face the best

The Highveld Lions have arrived on Indian shores to participate in the Champions League Twenty20 for the third time. The Alviro Petersen-led side was placed second in the 2012 edition and will be looking to do one better and lift the Karbonn Smart CLT20 trophy this time around.

While addressing the media in Ahmedabad, the Lions captain said that they will be taking it one step at a time. “Everyone comes into this tournament wanting to win the tournament. But it is important that we take it one game at a time and I think our first goal will be to try and get to the knockout stages, which will be the semi-finals; and from their obviously to the final and one step further. We will take it one step at a time. It is important that we stick to our processes and game plans,” he said. “We don’t want to be looking too far ahead, but we certainly would like to win this tournament.”

Speaking about playing in India Petersen said, “It is a great challenge for us. We look forward to playing here. Some of our guys have played in India before and we will obviously use that experience to educate some of the young players who haven’t played here.”

While highlighting the importance of spin in these conditions, he said “We have very happy to have some world-class spinners in our team – two international spinners in Imran Tahir and Aaron Phangiso. So those two will be our frontline spinners and then we have got another one or two spinners in our line-up.” However, he also pointed out his team’s solid pace battery. “But we don’t want to discard our seam bowlers who have done fantastically for us in the past. And with the addition of Lonwabo Tsotsobe we have got quite a good mix of bowlers.”

While discussing the team formation, Petersen said, “Obviously, we lost Chris Morris who bowls well for us and also hits the ball well. But Tsotsobe comes in as another international bowler and not so long ago he was the world No.1 ODI bowler. I think we have got a well-rounded unit.” He added, “Neil McKenzie has been a big part of our campaign in the last two-three years; he has done well for us and he has got the experience. He is still hungry to play and contribute for the team and the guys learn a lot which is important. But more importantly he brings a lot of experience to the table and does score some crucial runs for us when needed.”

One of other players with the experience of playing in the subcontinent is Sohail Tanvir. While underlining his importance to the Lions, Petersen said, “Sohail’s been really brilliant for us in our T20 campaign in the last CLT20 also and also in our domestic T20 back home. So he will play a big role for us. We are excited to have him. It almost feels like he has been with us for 20 years and I look forward to getting some good performances out of him. And off late his batting has come on nicely. So hopefully, he can hit a couple of big ones as well.”

Speaking about the batting line-up, the skipper said, “Of late, most of our young players have performed well, which takes the burden off the senior players. And I am delighted. Of those that are standing up Quinton de Kock comes to mind and a new guy, Rassie van der Dussen; Gulam Bodi is still there, Jean Symes is a good finisher and we have Dwaine Pretorius.”

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