Proteas off-spinner Dane Piedt has questioned the reluctance of New Zealand to back their pace attack in the Test series against South Africa.
New Zealand have not trotted out the typical green wickets expected in the land of the long white cloud, though the pitch in Wellington was typical of the Basin Reserve.
Piedt received an SOS from the Proteas management after the first Test showed the Kiwi’s hand as far as their approach to pitch preparation and tactics is concerned with two spinners getting the nod on a slow University Oval pitch.
The spinner said ahead of the third Test: “I think they have shot themselves in the foot. They didn’t back their seamers to do the job, and I thought their seamers bowled pretty well in South Africa. They bowled us out for 263 in Durban on quite a sporting deck.
“I didn’t expect that New Zealand would play two spinners in the first Test and when they left Tim Southee out I was also surprised. Just the fact that two series before that, Bangladesh and Pakistan were here and they played on surfaces that were quite sporting for the seamers.
“I expected it to be the same, but obviously with the type of seam attack we have they thought they would be under pressure.”
Piedt lost his place in the team as number one spinner to Keshav Maharaj who has been impressive since making his debut in Australia on the back of a great first class season.
The Cape Cobras captain has no hard feelings against Maharaj and praised the left-arm spinners nouse and patience.
He added: “He’s shown that he’s in unbelievable form and he’s done that in domestic cricket so I can only be happy for him.
I spoke to him last night and I told him how impressive it’s been to watch him bowl on the international stage. It’s never hard feelings. It’s about spin bowlers coming through and being able to show their skill to the rest of the world.
“His changes of pace and the angles he bowls at are impressive. The shape of his ball is really good as well. If you’re bowling consistently in the same sort of area you’re always going to be rewarded, like he has. He’s quite a patient guy so he does it for long periods of time.”
Piedt says that even if he doesn’t play on what is expected to be a spin-friendly wicket in Hamilton he is happy to have been called up as it shows that the selectors are still considering him.
He concluded: “I had just got onto the plane and I saw JP had taken four wickets, and I told myself even if I don’t play at least I’m getting recognised again. I think that’s the most important thing.
“I’ve had quite an up-and-down Test career. I made my debut in 2014, had a freak shoulder injury and came back from that. So there’s been a lot of frustration and thinking will I ever play for South Africa again. Just to be here again is a privilege.”