• Piedt’s progress bodes well for SA

    South Africa A coach Vincent Barnes has praised spinner Dane Piedt for his performances India A over the last week.

    Piedt claimed a five-wicket haul (5-85) in the first unofficial Test against India A last week which ended in a draw. He has carried that performance into the second unofficial Test which is currently being played in Wayanad. He claimed another five-wicket haul (5-156 in 36 overs) after lunch on day three before rain interrupted play.

    The off-spinner will now hope these performances will get noticed by the national selectors before they pick a Test squad for the Proteas’ tour to India in October and November.

    Piedt has fully recovered from the career-threatening shoulder injury he sustained in October 2014 and will hope to reclaim his Test spot after making his debt for South Africa against Zimbabwe last year.

    Vincent Barnes, high performance manager of South African cricket and the SA A coach, applauded the turn and control with which Piedt operated in his five-wicket haul in the first game of this tour.

    ‘He bowled exceptionally well,’ Barnes said. ‘He turned the ball and took all five wickets with the traditional off-spinner. His first scalp, that of Jinwanjot Singh, was a delivery that turned appreciably from well outside off-stump to knock over middle-stump.’

    Piedt is a bowler capable of bamboozling batsmen with the so-called doosra or the carrom delivery, but he did not need those variations to cause havoc on this tour.

    Barnes said when Piedt was first introduced for South Africa A against the England Lions following a prolonged period on the side-lines due to the rehabilitation on his shoulder, he might have rushed himself back and he was not strong enough.

    ‘He worked hard on his action and his strength in the winter with Paul Adams,’ said Barnes. ‘From a South African point of view, it is encouraging to have all these spinners. It is healthy to have this competition. Dane has put his hand up [with the performance against India A].

    ‘Keshav [Maharaj] operated well and was the perfect foil for Dane,’ Barnes added.

    Adams was equally optimistic about Piedt’s progress.

    ‘His performance against India A is a step in the right direction. Now it is about maintaining this performance,’ Adams said.

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