New Delhi: He suffered a career-threatening shoulder dislocation last year and South African off-spinner Dane Piedt says it took a lot out of him to play cricket again and get back to his best on his return to international arena after 16 months.
Dane Piedt (left) celebrates the wicket of India’s Murali Vijay with teammate Dean Elgar yesterday. Pic/AFP
"I must say a big 'thank you' to Shane Jabaar, the ex-Proteas physio and my surgeon Joe de Beer. It was very tough walking into Joe's chamber after that CLT20 injury (in Hyderabad last year), when Cobras had been knocked out. He (De Beer) said it (the surgery) goes one of two ways: 'Either your way, or goes the other way that you don't play again. That hit me quite hard, and I never told anyone that until I came back,'" Piedt, who took four wickets in India's innings, told mediapersons yesterday.
'It was a tough road'
"It was a tough road. Guys came in and played ahead of me, so I knew it was going to be a long road for me to get back to where I was 16 months ago (when he made an impressive Test debut against Zimbabwe). It was really hard on me emotionally, physically, and just to get back today and get four wickets, is really, really a dream come true," a visibly satisfied Piedt said.
Asked about the comeback, Piedt jokingly said: "When I came back for the Cape Cobras, I think I went for 3 for 3000 (laughs). It was quite tough coming back, but getting that opportunity to play in Kerala with the South Africa 'A' side (vs India 'A') really gave me a lot of confidence going forward, and I knew that I was close to my best.
"Now I have showed my ability to take wickets, which is what we are looking for. For me, I am just enjoying every moment representing my country, and doing my best. Playing, whether for my franchise or the national team, I just want to do my best, and the results will help me either way," said the 25-year-old.