Proteas coach Russell Domingo played his hand earlier in the week when he stated “for the development of our team, it’s important that we give the spinner the opportunity to try and settle into that position”.
The happiest person to hear that news would undoubtedly have been Dane Piedt – the solitary specialist spinner in the Proteas squad for the first Test against New Zealand starting tomorrow at Kingsmead.
Dane Piedt, like numerous South African spinners before him, always faces an anxious period ahead of Test matches played on home soil.
With local conditions traditionally favouring the faster men, SA have often opted to field an all-pace attack, leaving the spinner to test his drinks-carrying skills instead.
But not this time, and Piedt says: “I feel very prepared going into this Test series.
“I’ve played a bit of first-class cricket recently and it was tough cricket for different reasons.
“In Zimbabwe I had to bowl lots of overs because we batted once and then had to try and bowl them out twice. They were very defensive, so I had to work hard very hard on formulating different plans to create a dismissal.
“Australia was different because we were chasing the game again all the time.
“It’s hard for a spinner in such circumstances because you have to think about defending before attacking, and that’s not the kind of bowler I am.
“But it was good match preparation to bowl in different circumstances.”
Having been involved in a straight shootout with fellow off-spinner Simon Harmer for the last 12 months to nail down the spinner’s spot in the Proteas Test line-up, it seems like Piedt has managed to move ahead of his Warriors rival.
Cape Cobras star Piedt will no doubt want to repay Domingo and the selectors’ faith in him when the action begins.
He adds: “I’ve sat down with Russell after my performances over the last year and I think he enjoys the way I bowl.
“I’m a naturally attacking spinner – looking to take wickets all the time – but I believe I can also hold up an end when it’s needed.
“They looking for the full package and I’m hoping to provide the captain with different options.”