Change in mindset sees Keogh hit his best form to put Essex on the back foot
The right-hander scored his second first-class century of the summer, and the 16th of his career, as he helped rescue Northants from a tricky position at 63 for three to finish the day 279 for six.
Keogh clattered four sixes and 23 fours in his 147-ball stint, as already-relegated Northants remarkably claimed their first home batting point of what has been a desperately disappointing season.
His innings also took him past Sam Whiteman to become the County’s leading red-ball run-scorer in 2023, moving on to 762 runs at an average of 40.1.
“I definitely went into today with a slightly different mindset," said Keogh.
"I felt like I've not been myself over probably the last couple of weeks. My game has not felt right, not as I would have liked.
"I just went in with the mindset of being positive whatever it was, whether it was a leave, a forward defence or taking on the short ball.
"Whatever I was doing, I was going to fully commit and luckily it came off.
"I think I inside nicked my first boundary and it just seemed to flow on from there really.
“I felt I wasn't happy with my own game and how things were going personally.
"So I just thought rather than try and tweak technique so close to the end of the season, it was just a mindset thing for me just try and be positive and change that mindset from trying to bat balls, try and score instead.
"So, instead of trying to bat all day and getting bogged down I went the opposite and thought, it’s a runs game, let's try and get runs, be positive in whatever I do, and luckily it came off.
“Hopefully the first hour on Wednesday, myself and Broady (Justin Broad, who is 17 not out) can get ourselves in and then we can reassess from there and hopefully tick off some more points and then get bowling.”
Keogh's century saw him move level with Australian legend Mike Hussey on 16 tons in Northants colours, and he admitted that is a record he is very proud of.
“I was never bothered about stats, but I think the more years I've been playing and the more names I'm starting to tick off on the list, it's very special," said Keogh, who has been at Northants since he was a teenager.
"It’s always nice to see those names and obviously Mike Hussey is a cricketing legend, so to get up there with him is amazing and hopefully there's some more to come."
Essex need to beat Northants and claim maximum bonus points to stand a chance of overhauling Surrey at the top and clinching the title, but it looks like they are going to have to settle for the runners-up spot.
Surrey need just five points from their clash at Hampshire to guarantee they retain their crown, and they claimed three of them on Tuesday as they bowled out Hampshire for 219.
The Londoners closed the day on 47 for two in reply.
Quotes courtesy of Jeremy Blackmore