Proteas Test captain Dean Elgar has hinted that Knights batsman Keegan Petersen is likely to be given a chance in the top order for the upcoming tour of the West Indies.
The retirement of Faf du Plessis earlier in 2021 has left a sizeable gap in a once rock-solid Proteas top order. His departure from the red-ball game has opened the door for a number of talented players who have long been champing at the bit.
One such player is Knights batsman Keegan Petersen, who has had to bide his time on the fringes of the national set-up but who Elgar now hints could now finally get his chance.
‘Without Faf, a guy like Keegan Petersen comes into the mix now. He’s been waiting on the sidelines for quite a while now.
’There’s a massive opportunity for him now if he gets selected and he needs to take his opportunity when it comes.
’There’s a lot of room for him to make an impact in our batting lineup. He’s got a few years under his belt from a domestic perspective and he’s scored a fair number of runs the past few seasons and that’s been good for us.’
The 27-year-old has consistently been a standout performer in South Africa’s 4-Day Franchise Series. He was the top run-scorer in 2018-19 with 923 runs at an average of 61.53. Though Petersen hasn’t been able to quite hit those heights in the following two years (232 at 38.66 in 2019-20; 484 at 44 in 2020-21) he remains highly regarded.
Petersen has been in and around the national set-up since 2019 and was part of the Proteas Test squad that played against Pakistan earlier this year. At the end of 2019, he made a century in a composed knock for SA A against an English bowling lineup that featured James Anderson, Chris Woakes, Ben Stokes and Sam Curran.
Elgar also put to bed the questions around where Quinton de Kock would appear in the batting lineup. The former Proteas captain struggled last year to balance the workload of wicketkeeping, batting up the order and captaining the side.
‘Quinny will be in the position he’s been batting in for us for quite some time now. I think he’ll be best suited at No 6 for us.’