Durban - Dane Piedt will be looking to replicate his last test performance at Sahara Stadium Kingsmead when the Proteas take on New Zealand in the first test of the series, in Durban.
Offspinner Piedt ended with 5-153 off 36 overs during the second innings of the first test against England towards the end of last year, in a losing cause, and feels his type of bowling is suited to a Kingsmead surface that, in the last few years, has lost its reputation as a green, seaming wicket and has tended to suit spinners.
South Africa coach Russell Domingo intimated earlier in the week that the Proteas would be inclined to include a spinner in their XI for the first test against New Zealand, starting in Durban on Friday, August 17.
“My first first-class game at Kingsmead was actually the test at the end of last year against England and I managed to get five wickets in the second innings. In the latter part of that innings I was quite good at bowling quickly through the air and that gives you more opportunity. That’s how I’ll be looking to go forward,” Piedt told reporters at the Chatsworth Oval, outside Durban, on Wednesday where the Proteas had enjoyed a middle practice.
“I bowl with a lot of overspin, so the bounce at Kingsmead is important, it brings in your bat/pad fielders as well as leg-slip and slip… My job will be to stop the game and try and frustrate the Kiwi batsmen, which will hopefully bring loose shots. I think the pitch will spin a bit early on, by day three it will be best for batting and then after that it will spin more again. I must just get into the test and stay there,” he added.
The pitch will be something of an unknown factor ahead of the clash against New Zealand with the test the first to be played in Durban in August but Piedt said that he had some experience of playing winter cricket in South Africa.
“While I was at the National Academy we played a couple of winter games and the pitches were quite slow, so the pace I bowl will be key, if I play in this test. You want to be bowling at a higher pace rather than slower, that will be key for me if I’m going to control the game and have the ability to strike,” he said.
The 26-year-old Piedt, who has captured 22 wickets in five tests at an average of 35.31, has done well to battle back from a serious shoulder injury, and he played down suggestions that he might be undercooked heading into the two-test series after recently touring Australia with the South Africa A team.
“I’ve played four SA A games already this season, against Zimbabwe and Australia A, so I have a lot of overs under my belt, even though we struggled a bit in Australia,” he explained.
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