Paarl, Jan 17: Rookie South Africa batter Keegan Petersen admits the world class Indian bowling attack was by far the most challenging he has faced but said he would not have wanted another way to build his nascent career.
The 28-year-old was named player of the series after his outstanding exploits with the bat against India in the three-match contest which South Africa won 2-1.
The stylish right-hander was the top run-scorer from either sides in the series, amassing 276 runs at an average of 46.00. He was the only player to notch-up three half-centuries, recording scores of 72, 82 and 62, whilst his slip fielding was another hallmark of the series.
“It was by far the most challenging bowling I have come across in my career, whether it’s been in first-class cricket or any form of cricket,” Petersen was quoted as saying in Cricket South Africa website.
“It hasn’t been an easy introduction for me to international cricket, but I honestly wouldn’t have it any other way,” he explained.
“My journey’s unique and it’s my story to tell as well.”
Petersen has now played five Tests for South Africa, although his previous three innings — all against West Indies — did not yield too many runs.
“It hasn’t completely sunk in yet. I still can’t explain how it feels completely despite it being two days already. Myself, my family and everyone close to us are still trying to get over it somehow. It was a challenging series against one of the best bowling attacks in the world.”
Petersen said he’s proud to be a part of a team that is trying to start something new in South African cricket.
“Whether I bat in first couple of overs or whether I bat after 50 overs, I’m just grateful to have the opportunity to be there, playing amongst a group of guys who are also trying to start something new in South African cricket.
“We are also trying to tell a new story as a team together as well.”
South Africa lost the first Test by 113 runs in Centurion, before storming back with successive seven-wicket victories in Johannesburg and Cape Town.
It was the biggest win for the Proteas since Dean Elgar was appointed Test captain and Petersen has hailed the leadership of the new skipper.
“Deano as our captain, he’s going to, he has and he is going to achieve great things as well as a captain. He’s a brilliant leader and we wouldn’t want anyone else to lead us,” said Petersen.
“The achievement for us as a squad, we know the chips were down and the odds were against us especially after the first game where we were beaten. It wasn’t a good scenario, but we had a couple of strong chats after the game looking at ways to bounce back.
“It’s just our personalities and character as South Africans, even though we’re the underdogs, we always come back fighting. That’s just how we are and we showed that during this series. Hopefully, it carries on for years to come.”
The two teams will now move on to the three-match ODI leg of the tour that begins on Wednesday here. (PTI)