“Sherman Baatjes (strength and conditioning coach of the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras) has turned the level of intensity up a notch. The guys are feeling it, but it is all for a good cause and we want to hit the ground running next season.”

This was the verdict of the skipper of the WSB Cape Cobras, Dane Piedt, who forms part of the fitness training squad in the off season at PPC Newlands.

The South African off-spinner recently formed part of a South Africa ‘A’ team that played against the England Lions.

Piedt finished with a match haul of 4-192 and an economy rate of 3.94.

He said at certain times, the team did not click. Their collapse after a bright start by Heino Kuhn and Aiden Markram and the loss of seven wickets for 60 runs put them more than 100 runs in arrears. And when they had to chase the game in the second innings, the England batsmen were freed up to play their shots, which explains why his own economy rate suffered a tad.

Piedt said he is focusing on winning games for the Cobras, instead of pressurizing himself into getting back into the SA test team. That is not his first priority. He doesn’t see himself forcing his way back into the Proteas’ starting line-up, unless there is a subcontinent tour.

Probed about his role and his success in using the X-factors (variations like the doosra – that spins in the opposite direction to an off-break, or the carrom ball – which is released by flicking it between the thumb and a bent middle finger), Piedt says he focuses on “nailing down his stock delivery.”

That delivery is one that is bowled just outside the off-stump, turns sharply and dislodges the middle-stump, usually by finding the gap between bat and pad.

Piedt said if he is to return to the form he showed when taking 45 wickets in eight games for the Cobras, one must not forget the team dynamics. Because in 2013/2014, Dane Paterson captured wickets, while Stiaan van Zyl and Justin Ontong scored heavily.

Talking about his off-season aims, Piedt emphasized that he wanted to improve his batting to become even a greater contributor down the order. A man with a best domestic four-day score of 92, Piedt assisted Aviwe Mgijima in scoring give half-centuries in the 2016/2017-season.

Expect the two to continue their excellent partnership in the 2017/2018 campaign.