Why the Proteas are backing Piedt

Dane Piedt (AFP)
Dane Piedt (AFP)

Cape Town - Simon Harmer and Imran Tahir didn't do much wrong on the recent tour of India, even if results did not go the Proteas' way. 

Tahir played in all four Tests and finished as South Africa's leading wicket taker with 14 at an average of 21.35, while harmer played the first three matches, taking 11 wickets at 25.4. 

Harmer's wickets perhaps came a little too expensively when compared to the damage done by Ravichandran Ashwin (31 wickets at 11.2) and Ravindra Jadeja (23 wickets at 10.82), while Tahir never quite won over the confidence of captain Hashim Amla that would have allowed him to bowl long spells.

Piedt was given his chance in the final Test at Harmer's expense, taking four wickets in the match at a less than flattering 42.5. 

But it is the Cobras man who has been given the spinning responsibilities in the first two Tests against England - perhaps a little surprising given that he looked to be the third choice in India.

But Piedt actually broke into the Proteas side before Harmer, making his debut against Zimbabwe with an eight-wicket haul in August 2014.

But a career-threatening shoulder injury to Piedt saw Harmer given an extended run, and he notched up five Tests before Piedt would get another crack.

"We’ve given Simon Harmer a run in India and in Bangladesh as well, now we just want to see … when you look at Dane Piedt, he was there anyway before his injury occurred," convener of selectors Linda Zondi told Sport24. 

"We are not saying we’re not going to look at the other two guys (Harmer and Tahir), we definitely will if Dane Piedt is not coming through. But it is important for us to give guys opportunities as we move forward."

Zondi was not sure whether the Proteas would go into the Durban Test on Boxing day with a four-man seam attack, but he was far happier with the current state of the Proteas' spin bowling department. 

"I think we are better off than we were before we went to India because now we know what these guys can do," said Zondi.

"At least now we are in a position where we’ve got options in the spinning department. We’ve got three guys who we can call at any time and they can come in and do a job.

"At the moment we’re looking for someone to play a holding role because the conditions in South Africa suit the seamers."

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