Cape Town - Proteas off-spinner, Dane Piedt, says the batsmen will have to ‘knuckle down’ to dig themselves out of an improbable position in the first Sunfoil Test match against England at Sahara Stadium Kingsmead.
It’s an unfortunate case of deja vu for the batsmen, who will have to fight off a minimum of 90 overs to save the match. The change room will remain hopeful as long as AB de Villiers (37 not out) is at the crease, but it will take a concerted effort from the entire line-up with only JP Duminy and Temba Bavuma the only recognised batsmen to come.
“It wasn’t ideal to lose Faf (du Plessis) so late in the day,” Piedt conceded. “The batters coming in really have to knuckle down and try to take it as far as possible, extend it and take it session by session. It’s all we can do, hopefully it can go our way.
“I spoke quite extensively to Lance (Klusener),’he said about his batting. “We worked on a few things, he has a wealth of knowledge; he scored two Test centuries batting at nine. Hopefully we can try to implement those things tomorrow. Looking after your wicket and not giving it away, that’s the most important thing that we got told.”
Piedt’s maiden Test five-for had lost a bit of its shine when stumps were called, but is a fantastic achievement considering the injury setbacks he has had in his short international career.
The variation of pace and bowling attacking lines to the batsmen were some of the small tweaks Piedt made en route to his haul, which is the first by a South African off-spinner for 50 years.
“I’m quite happy to have taken five wickets even though the consistency wasn’t where I wanted it to be,” he said. “I’ve been on four wickets in two previous Test matches I have played so I’m quite happy to get my first five-for.
It may only be his third cap for South Africa but Piedt says he has established a clearer idea of his role in the attack.
“I spoke to Claude (Henderson) and I’m starting to understand my role,” he said. “In the first innings it’s about looking after an end so the bowlers can rotate from the one side and if the opportunity arises like today where it was turning a bit, I can come into my own and try to be effective. Slowly but surely I’m getting there and understanding my role in the team.”