Cape Cobras captain Dane Piedt believes his bowling attack has what it takes to run through sides – as long as they bowl fuller lengths than last season.
Piedt was speaking at a press conference on Friday as the Cape Cobras continued their preparations for the opening 4-Day Franchise match of their season, against the VKB Knights at PPC Newlands starting on Monday, 1 October.
When probed on what is required to win the competition, coach Ashwell Prince highlighted their need to take 20 wickets to win matches, but added that he has belief in his bowling attack.
‘[The decision to part ways with] Wayne Parnell was a bit unexpected but there are a capable of players stepping into that position. Rory Kleinveldt might have played less of a role [last season], but now he will play a greater role. And there are other players who can step up, like Jason Smith, Dayyaan Galiem and Ferisco Adams.’
Prince was unperturbed about the young inexperienced squad that the Cape Cobras have selected for the Knights.
‘I am excited. I think there are four to five of those players that can go on and represent South Africa. Perhaps we will see that happening within the next two to three years,’ he said.
Prince added that for most of last season, this young, inexperienced batting squad did the business, so not much has changed.
In the 2017-18 season, the Cobras batsmen scored a phenomenal 13 centuries, which is quite special when one remembers that two of the three senior batsmen in the side – Andrew Puttick and Justin Ontong – played only a limited part in the four-day competition.
Piedt said Dane Paterson and Kleinveldt will lead the attack and they bowl a fuller length, which will make it easier for the other bowlers to follow their example.
Prince added that David Bedingham and Janneman Malan have phenomenal talent. The Cape Cobras fill the vacuums in the side from the bottom upwards, but in the case of Malan, his statistics suggest that he could fill the void left by the departure of Puttick and Richard Levi in all formats of the game.
‘Last season we created opportunities with the ball, but did not execute them. We have done the hard preparation but ultimately it is about having the right attitudes to take chances and effect the run-outs. It is a vital part of the game,’ said Piedt.
The loss of Parnell will give Kleinveldt a new opportunity as a bowling all-rounder. He is a live wire with the bat and was sensational in the shorter formats with the ball last season, while he also took 50 wickets for Northamptonshire.
Piedt has improved by leaps and bounds with the bat last season so the Cape Cobras looks in a good position to score totals of 450 and beyond.
If Piedt’s confidence in the bowling line-up is vindicated, the Cobras will break their five-year drought in terms of four-day silverware this season.
Cape Cobras squad
Dane Piedt (capt)