New Delhi, Dec 3 (IANS) On a high after claiming a four-wicket haul on the opening day of the fourth cricket Test here on Thursday, South African off-spinner Dane Piedt said a successful sojourn in India with the Proteas’ A team last year gave him the confidence to do well during the current tour. Piedt, who played a sterling role with the ball as South Africa made things difficult for the hosts at the Ferozeshah Kotla Stadium, said the youth tournament in Kerala last year played an important role in his development as a spinner.
“Playing in Kerala was a good experience. The wickets were similar to the one here. It was a good experience playing against the likes of Karun Nair and other sub-continent players,” Piedt said at a press conference. “It was my first tour outside South Africa playing against the sub-continental teams and it was really good to come away with 12 wickets.” The 25-year-old is making a comeback after sitting out for eight months with a shoulder injury and is happy at making an immediate impact in his first outing in the current series. “I am returning from a shoulder injury so it is good to take wickets. I want to take this opportunity to bowl as much as I can. The more I compete with the batsman, the more I can improve which can end up with me taking wickets for the team,” Piedt said. With the hosts in a spot of bother at 231/7, Piedt felt that bundling them out within the 250-run mark on the second day will put the South Africans in a strong position. “The game is still even. It will be good to resume bowling with the new ball tomorrow morning. I think getting them out for under 250 will be a good enough score,” the young spinner asserted. The series has attracted a lot of controversy after the first and third Tests in Mohali and Nagpur saw rank turners which resulted in both matches being over within three days. Batsmen from both sides clearly struggled to deal with the copious turn and unpredictable bounce right from the first day of both Tests. But Piedt opined that the Kotla wicket is a better-prepared one and is expected to last the full five days. “The odd ball is skidding off the wicket and we are getting the odd one to bounce as well. So this has been a good wicket for everyone today,” he said. “This wicket has a strong possibility of going five days.”