South Africa in New Zealand 2016-17 March 14, 2017

Piedt called-in to boost SA's spin stocks

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Piedt gets SA Test call-up after six months

Offspinner Dane Piedt has been called up to South Africa's Test squad as an additional spin option. Piedt is awaiting approval of his visa and is expected to join the group this weekend, with a view to be considered for the third Test in Hamilton starting March 25.

Piedt has been preferred to Tabraiz Shamsi, who was taken on South Africa's Test tour to Australia and played in the day-night Test in Adelaide, and Imran Tahir, who has not played a Test since 2015.

Piedt's last Test was also against New Zealand in August 2016, after which he was dropped for Keshav Maharaj, the lone specialist spinner in the squad currently. Maharaj was preferred for his ability to control the run-rate and took his maiden five-for in Dunedin, but is expected to need assistance on slower, turning surfaces.

Piedt's inclusion will take the number in South Africa's touring party to 17, after they included six pace options in anticipation of seamer-friendly conditions. Faf du Plessis admitted they have been surprised to find that is not the case, but have quickly adjusted to assuming New Zealand will look to play two specialist spinners as much as possible. As a result, South Africa are considering doing the same at Seddon Park in Hamilton, the venue that offered considerable turn during the ODIs.

For Piedt, the chance to play again comes at the end of a challenging season, during which he considered seeking out a Kolpak deal in the midst of drama at his domestic franchise, the Cobras. The franchise changed coaches mid-season following a long-running battle between the players and Paul Adams, who had been in charge for five seasons.

Adams was offered contract renewal despite facing a mutiny after a majority of contracted players launched a formal grievance against him. The players took their case to the country's highest dispute resolution body, the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration and won the right to strike but never followed through on the threats. Instead, several senior players were sent on loan to other teams. Piedt was among them, and went to the Titans for the domestic twenty-over campaign, but only played two matches.

However, when Ashwell Prince was appointed coach after Adams stood down at the end of 2016, Piedt was asked to captain the side, a role he accepted. He shelved his ambitions to seek opportunities elsewhere and committed himself to turning the franchise's fortunes around.

Remarkably, they rose from the bottom of the first-class points' table to be in contention for the title on the final weekend. Although they did not lift the trophy, they had redeemed themselves. Piedt took 28 wickets in the campaign to finish eighth overall and of those, 17 came in the second half of the season.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • gladiator1976 on March 17, 2017, 9:01 GMT

    Brokensaint it seems your view is clouded. Who do you want there. That stooge who could not spin the ball a millimeter. Currently you have a problem with bavuma. Duminy. Ngidi. Phuluwayo. Parnell. ANC. EFF.

  • Brokensaint on March 15, 2017, 17:40 GMT

    Elgar is just as effective as piedt so this pie chucking selection in my view is really a bad one. shamsi got shafted after one test which makes to me zero sense. can't drop a guy after one game and that game was a day night game the first anyone in the sa side has ever played by the way.

  • Flat Track Bully on March 15, 2017, 11:05 GMT

    Very strange selection. I thought Shamsi was ahead of him in the queue, or at least he should be.

  • Brokensaint on March 15, 2017, 4:11 GMT

    41439499 true but is it 6 not more than 4 ? and with the potential lineup what's going to play that numbers will change.

  • Alexk400 on March 15, 2017, 3:46 GMT

    I can bowl better than dane piedt. Even edgar can tweak better. They should have brought imran tahir if they did n't have confidence in shamsi.

  • blahblah1234567 on March 14, 2017, 20:48 GMT

    CRICFAN50585349 ON MARCH 14, 2017, 19:58 GM --- What you said makes absolute no sense. Piedt and Tahir both come under the same category as quota players so quotas don't influence their selection. His stats are decent for a spinner in SA, ask Ashwin and Jadeja. Why Tahir wasn't selected was a choice by the selectors and they probably have a good reason for it. DHIRSHAN GOBIND ON MARCH 14, 2017, 19:35 GMT X-factor works in LO cricket but boring is what is required for tests.

  • cricfan41439499 on March 14, 2017, 20:33 GMT

    @brokensaint - I dont know much about Piedt but NZ currently has 4 left handers out of the top 6 plus Santner and Wagner, so 6 out of 11 lefties is not a predominant right handed team.

  • cricfan50585349 on March 14, 2017, 19:58 GMT

    Dane Piedt Average : 30 in First Class and 36 in Tests. Maybe he will hold up an end, but those averages are pretty average. Tahir averages 40 in Tests, and 26 in First Class. They both have an economy rate of 3.5 In any event the selectors don't care what the public thinks, they'll choose according to their preordered quota system and the selected team does it's best. Fortunately that's pretty darn good, ask Australia.

  • cricfan50585349 on March 14, 2017, 19:52 GMT

    TBGMATLALA - Did you and AB have a nice sit down and chit chat? He tell you about the wife and kids as well? Seriously, let's just all make up stories. It's far more fun and who needs reality anyway right?

  • Dhirshan Gobind on March 14, 2017, 19:35 GMT

    WHY? Shamsi has x-factor but this guy is just plain boring!

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