Cobra’s duo could bolster the Protea’s
"Stiaan van Zyl, the Cobras’ classy left-hander, could be the batsman that fills Smith’s large boots. The uncapped Van Zyl is unlikely to be the direct replacement in the opener’s role, as Dean Elgar showed good promise when he partnered Smith in the skipper’s last series against Australia.
But Van Zyl, 26, has been the form batsman in South African domestic cricket for a number of seasons. He topped the Sunfoil Series run-scoring charts with 933 runs at 58.31. Although Cobras captain Justin Ontong averaged 71.30 and scored just six runs less (927) than Van Zyl, it would be no surprise if the selectors decided to take Van Zyl to Sri Lanka.
“Stiaan has been part of a group of promising young batsmen in the country for a while now, playing SA A cricket with the likes of Rilee Rossouw and Reeza Hendricks. But this season he has really showed how much he has matured, scoring runs in pressure situations,” Cobras coach Paul Adams told the Cape Times from Pretoria, where he is completing his Level 4 coaching course.
South Africa are going to require a capable spin attack in Sri Lanka. After a season which saw JP Duminy operate as the solitary slow bowler against Australia, the impressive achievements of Cobras off-spinner Piedt has made him a strong contender to partner Imran Tahir in the 15-man touring party.
Piedt, who only recently turned 24, bamboozled the franchise batsmen around the country with his sharp-turning off-breaks and use of his variations to finish top of the wicket-takers’ pile with 45 scalps, including a hat trick against the Dolphins. It would be a meteoric rise for the former Sacs pupil, who was still the second-choice spinner at his franchise at the beginning of last season behind the nationally-contracted Robin Peterson.
“Dane is a young bowler who has really taken his chance this season. He has showed that he can bowl on the last day of a match and hold his own. South Africa are looking for a spinner to stake a claim for that Test berth and Dane has the ability,” Adams added. "
- Cape Argus