Proteas batter Keegan Petersen thanks father, Dirk, for planting cricket seed

Mahlatse Mphahlele Sports reporter
Proteas batter Keegan Petersen celebrates reaching his half century against India on day two of the second Test at the Wanderers.
Proteas batter Keegan Petersen celebrates reaching his half century against India on day two of the second Test at the Wanderers.

After registering his maiden Test half century against India at the Wanderers on Tuesday, emerging Proteas batter Keegan Petersen thanked his father Dirk for planting the cricket seed in him.

Keegan, who was South Africa’s best batter during the first innings with a score of 62, before he was dismissed by Shardul Thakur, revealed that Dirk influenced him to play the game.

“My technique, I don’t know where it comes from but I think it comes naturally,” he said at stumps of day 2 of the second Test, where India ended on 85/2 and a second innings lead of 58 runs.

India will continue on Wednesday with the vastly experienced batting pair of Cheteshwar Pujara on 35 and Ajinkya Rahane on 11 and on a promising partnership of 41.

“I have just batted the same way since I was a kid and that’s all. Thanks to my dad because he is the only guy I have been working with all my life. I always tell everyone that he probably knows my technique and my game better than I do.”

Petersen added that he watched his father at the back-end of his career at Western Province B and Paarl Cricket Club, where he played with the likes of SA U19 coach Shukri Conrad and Marais Erasmus, who is umpiring in this match.

“He [Dirk] played cricket back in the day a little bit, but I don’t know the complete history of it. I was a kid back then when he was at the back-end of his career playing club cricket.

“That is where I always dragged along to club games and I fell in love with the game from that time. If you can ask the people that know me from back home, they used to see my dad throwing thousands of balls to me in the nets all the time and that’s where I learnt my trade.”

With the fighting score of 62, Petersen is happy with his contribution but wished he could have scored more to put the team in a better position.

“I think it’s going to be tough for the rest of the Test match. The pitch is definitely not getting easier to bat on. There was good quick bowling in the morning on Tuesday and they keep you on your toes all the time.

“I am happy with my return but I wish I could have done a little bit more to get the team into a better position, but we will take it as it comes. It is a wicket where you are never really in, but I think it was a decent effort given the conditions and I am not using that as an excuse.

“I wish the guys who got in kicked on but we are where we are right now.”

The biggest talking point of Tuesday was the controversial dismissal of Rassie van der Dussen as he was given out after he was caught behind by Rishabh Pant off Thakur but TV replays showed that the ball did not carry to the wicketkeeper.

“I don’t want to comment on that — that’s the decision of the umpires. We are in the game and we just have to take what they give us, no matter what we think. Some are going to go your way and some aren’t.”

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