David Bedingham was around 21 and full of promise, having already started playing First-Class cricket. But a horrifying car accident almost curtailed the South African’s budding journey as he was out of action for a year. Bedingham, however, made a strong-willed comeback to become a Western Province bulwark and also plied his trade for Durham in English county making more than 6000 runs in 89 games before making an impressive Test debut against India at Centurion last week. Now, Bedingham is in a singular space, playing his first Test at Newlands, his home ground.
“Whether I score runs or not, won’t matter to them (his family) a lot or to my friends. But me just walking out there, will be special,” Bedingham said.
He feels that the moment can’t be quantified by performance.
“It’s quite surreal to play the game here as (in the) previous years I would come to watch. My friends are all buzzing me, not to enquire if I am playing or not but for the tickets,” Bedingham laughed.
The 29-year-old said it is a dream to score a hundred in front of friends and family as he owes them a lot.
“I think I have gone through a lot. Sounds cliche but where I was in 2016 to where I am now, maybe the opportunity to play a Test match at Newlands is quite special.
Having my parents here, who have been through a lot. Me not finishing my studies, so I definitely owe them a lot,” said Bedingham.
While school senior Jacques Kallis and Herschelle Gibbs were his childhood heroes, Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma fascinated him during his teenage years.
“My two favourites among Indian players are Sharma and Kohli. I think when I was between 13-18, I was trying to mould my technique like theirs (Kallis and Gibbs) and when I had a bad game, I changed my technique to copy Kohli’s or try probably Sharma’s,” said Bedingham.
In fact, he was so nervous during his debut at Centurion that he didn’t let the feeling sink in that he was facing Jasprit Bumrah.
“My nerves were really high and I didn’t really think about his bowling. I was so nervous about batting, great Test. He swings the ball at great pace both ways,” he said.
Bedingham is also grateful that he got an opportunity to interact with England Test skipper Ben Stokes during his stint with Durham.
“I think we talked a lot. I think he refrained from talking about cricket a lot. He spoke about dealing with pressures, speaking to a world-class player like him did help handle the pressure better during the first Test,” Bedingham said about his interactions with Stokes.
Playing nearly 90 First-Class games did have its positives too.
“Everything happens for a reason. Fine if it (Test debut) would have happened five years ago but I have played so much First-Class cricket that I learnt the ups and downs.
It prepares you better for Test cricket.
I think because of all my experiences in First-Class cricket, I can keep my emotions in check,” he detailed.
In less than a month, Bedingham would be flying to New Zealand as one of the “senior most” members of the Proteas squad having played two Tests as most of the big boys would be busy playing the SA20.
Bedingham can only chuckle as in his mind, he didn’t think that he would make his debut against India and would only be in reserves for the New Zealand tour.
So, what if one SA20 franchise offers him a contract? “I had already withdrawn my name from the draft.” Does the T20 lure him? “I have always loved watching Test cricket, so I see it as a bonus. If those things come up, perfect, my priority is Test cricket and First-Class cricket. The biggest dream is to score a century at Newlands,” he signed off.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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