As the only specialist spinner in the Proteas Test squad for the first two Tests against the English in Durban and Cape Town, it may be seen as a given that he will be in the playing XI for the Boxing Day Test at Kingsmead.
But there is no guarantee that the 25-year-old off-spinner will play, as the Proteas have often utilised an all-pace attack in Durban.
The Kingsmead pitch has traditionally favoured fast bowlers, but over the last few years, it has flattened out and lost speed and swing. There is still good bounce, though, which Piedt could exploit.
Piedt has been released by the national selectors for Sunfoil Series duty and is part of the Cobras side who are taking on the Knights at Newlands.
He is currently regarded as the No 1 spinner in South Africa after a reasonably solid showing in the final Test against India in Delhi earlier this month. He took 4/117 in the first innings and has now surpassed Simon Harmer and Imran Tahir in the Test pecking order.
Proteas Test captain Hashim Amla, JP Duminy, Stiaan van Zyl and Piedt have bolstered the Cobras side, while wicket-keeper Dane Vilas is unavailable as he will turn out for the SA A side against England on Sunday.
Cobras coach and former Proteas spinner Paul Adams told Independent Media that Piedt now has a chance to get used to local conditions again, as he would have to bowl slightly differently to how he operated in India.
“Yes, he’s got good confidence, good shape, good ‘stings’, good skill. It’s about getting back into South African conditions - understanding the mindset and gameplans, what you have to do,” Adams said about Piedt.
“I think it’s good for South African cricket and also for them in preparation for the England tour. It’s a nice focus and for us, a lot of our young players can tap into their experience. That’s a key thing for us as well. We always talk about wanting to grow as a squad, and here’s an opportunity to have them around the Proteas players.”
For the Cobras, it’s also a chance for redemption after their nightmare end to the T20 Challenge last week.
“It’s great that there’s a game for them (the Proteas) to play to get them all set and ready for the England series. But for us at the Cobras, it’s important that we start well in this competition. We spoke at length about it this week, and we are setting some good standards for ourselves here. We want to challenge for this trophy as well.”
Dane Piedt will be going all out to prove that he should start for the Proteas in the first Test against England.
Original source: Piedt bidding for Proteas start