Stats don't bode well for Piedt

Dane Piedt (Gallo Images)
Dane Piedt (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - A closer look at Test cricket played at the Wanderers since readmission suggests that the Proteas could get away with not playing a specialist spin bowler against England on Thursday.

South Africa go into the third Test 1-0 down in the series with two to play, desperate for a result to keep their hopes of winning the series alive. 

The talk is that the ground staff in Johannesburg will look to produce a 'result wicket', and with a bit of rain and overcast conditions expected throughout the Test there could be something in it for the seamers. 

It has all led to speculation over whether the Proteas will take four seamers into the match at the expense of off-spinner Dane Piedt, who took 3/38 in the second innings of the Cape Town Test.

On Monday, Dale Steyn was ruled out of the third Test with a shoulder strain, but Kyle Abbott and Hardus Viljoen are both fit and ready should the selectors opt for a four-pronged pace attack. 

A look at how ineffective spin has been at the Wanderers over the years suggests that it might not be such a bad idea. 

Since readmission, no South African has taken a five-for at the Wanderers and the last visiting bowler to do so was India's Anil Kumble in 1992 - his 6/53 in the South African second innings formed a large part of his eight wickets for the match. 

And, in the last 10 Tests played at the Wanderers, South Africa have gone into three of them without a specialist spin bowler. 

South Africa, quite simply, need to take 20 wickets in the third Test match to make the Centurion finale as exciting as possible - and the stats suggest they have a better chance of doing that with pace than they do seam. 

Of the 359 wickets to have fallen at the Wanderers in the last 10 Tests played there, 45 have been taken by spin bowlers ... that's 12.5%. 

Match figures for every spinner to have played at the Wanderers since 2005:

January 2005 - England beat SA by 77 runs

Nicky Boje 0/101, Ashley Giles 2/49

March 2006 - Australia beat SA by 2 wickets

Shane Warne 4/139, Andrew Symonds 1/44, Nicky Boje 2/75

May 2006 - SA beat NZ by 4 wickets

No spinners played by either side

December 2006 - India beat SA by 123 runs

Anil Kumble 5/55, Graeme Smith 0/26 (No specialist spinner for SA)

November 2007 - SA beat NZ by 358 runs

Daniel Vettori 2/144, Paul Harris 1/11

February 2009 - Australia beat SA by 162 runs

Paul Harris 3/100, JP Duminy 0/54, Marcus North 1/56

January 2010 - SA beat England by an innings and 74 runs

Graeme Swann 2/93, JP Duminy 2/10 (No specialist spinner for SA)

November 2011 - Australia beat SA by 2 wickets

Nathan Lyon 4/109, Michael Clarke 2/8, Imran Tahir 4/118

February 2013 - SA beat Pakistan by 211 runs

Saeed Ajmal 1/142, Younis Khan 1/16, Mohammad Hafeez 4/48, Robin Peterson 0/24

December 2013 - SA v India - match drawn

Imran Tahir 2/116, JP Duminy 2/117, Ravichandran Ashwin 0/108, Murali Vijay 0/3


45/1766 at an average of 39.24

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