TELFORD VICE, Cape Town
THE mystery around Dane Piedt’s non-selection for SA’s test series in Bangladesh in July deepened on Friday when the off-spinner was named in a SA A tour squad that will play two four-day games against their Indian counterparts.
Piedt’s omission from the test squad, which was announced on Wednesday, has been linked to his ongoing recovery from a serious shoulder injury he suffered in September.
SA coach Russell Domingo argued that case in newspaper reports published hours before the test squad was named and on Thursday outgoing selection convenor Andrew Hudson told Times Media, “He (Piedt) is in the A side and we will watch his progress post injury.”
However Piedt told Times Media on May 12, “I’m 100%; it’s in the past now.” On Wednesday, after the test squad was announced, he again confirmed his full fitness.
The fact that he has bowled 269.4 overs since returning to action in December – 261.2 of them in first-class matches – is proof of that.
That said Piedt is a long way from the bowler he was against Zimbabwe in Harare in August, when he claimed the best match figures by a SA spinner on test debut with a haul of 8/152.
In first-class matches since, he has taken 12 wickets at an average of 86.75. But injured bowlers do not send down 269.4 overs. Moreover Piedt’s economy rate in the first-class games in that tally, a decent 3.98, tells us all he needs to get back to his wicket-taking best is as many overs as he can beg from his captain.
He will doubtless get them from SA A skipper Dane Vilas in India. But he could just as easily have got them from Hashim Amla in Bangladesh.
Instead, SA’s spin twins will be the deserving Simon Harmer and Aaron Phangiso, who is among the best in the business in the shorter formats but has played just 11 franchise first-class matches in a career that is almost 12 years old.
SA A’s four-day matches in India will be followed by a triangular one-day series that will also feature Australia A. The tour is scheduled for July and August.
Four-day: Dane Vilas (captain), Temba Bavuma, Gihahn Cloete, Theunis de Bruyn, Marchant de Lange, Beuran Hendricks, Reeza Hendricks, Keshav Maharaj, Dane Paterson, Dane Piedt, Omphile Ramela, Lonwabo Tsotsobe, Stiaan van Zyl, Hardus Viljoen, David Wiese.
One-day: Dean Elgar (captain), Cody Chetty, Theunis de Bruyn, Marchant de Lange, Cameron Delport, Beuran Hendricks, Reeza Hendricks, Eddie Leie, Keshav Maharaj, Omphile Ramela, Mthokozisi Shezi, Lonwabo Tsotsobe, Dane Vilas, David Wiese, Khaya Zondo.