Cape Town - While pace remains the talking point, Proteas
off-spinner Dane Piedt, believes spin could play an equally important role in
the opening Test match against New Zealand starting at Kingsmead on Friday.
Piedt will be leaning on his past experiences of playing
cricket at this time of the year, and says patience will be a crucial factor if
he is to have an impact in the match.
“That (patience) is the approach I will use going forward
in this Test match, to stop the game and to frustrate the Kiwi batsmen, that
will hopefully bring a few loose shots,” he said at the squad’s practice
at the Chatsworth Oval on Wednesday.
“I have a feeling it will spin a little
bit, especially early on in the Test match. I think day three will be quite
good to bat on but as the Test match goes on it will spin a bit more. I need to
get myself into the match and stay there, I think that will do it.
“That was my first first-class game at Kingsmead and I got
five wickets,” he said of the Boxing Day Test match against England where
he returned match figures of 6/216 .
“The latter part of my spell was quite
good because I bowled quickly through the air. That created more opportunities
for me to get wickets, that is the way I will approach this Test match because
of the nature of the surface and the time of the year.”
Piedt is the lone specialist spinner in the squad, an
understandable selection considering the nature of the South African conditions
which often favour pace. He says his strongest mode of attack will be his
variation of pace, along with the extraction of bounce, which often comes into
play at Kingsmead.
“I was in the National Academy where we played a couple of
winter games and the wickets were slow throughout the country, so I have had
experience playing in winter in South Africa,” he said.
“The paces that
I bowl are going to be key if I get a game. Faster paces rather than slow will
be the key going into the test match, it will be important to control the game
and have the ability to strike.”
Personally, Piedt is looking to use the series as an
opportunity to cement his place in the role, after a shoulder injury cut short
the euphoria following his successful Test debut against Zimbabwe in 2014,
where he became the second South African to take a Test wicket with the first
ball of his career.
“The confidence is always there,” he said
of his personal form.
“Competition is always good, we are all from different
franchises, myself, Keshav (Maharaj), Simon Harmer, Eddie Leie, Tabraiz Shamsi
and Phangiso. There are a lot of spinners, they complained that there weren’t
spinners now there is an abundance which is good for South African cricket