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KP - Tahir is Test quality

Pietersen backs spinner to be huge international hit

Tahir: top class

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Kevin Pietersen has backed leg-spinner Imran Tahir to represent South Africa at Test level.

Pakistan-born Tahir is said to be eligible to play for the Proteas in December, having served his three-year residency period, although the exact date of his qualification is not known.

The South African selectors showed their interest in Tahir in January when they prematurely selected him during the series with England so there is every chance Tahir will get his international chance sooner rather than later.

And having seen Tahir in action during his two-match stint in South Africa with the Dolphins, Pietersen is of no doubt the leg-spinner should be included in the South Africa set-up.

"I think Imran Tahir is world class and as soon as he has qualified for South Africa he should play, he is that good," Pietersen told Supersport.

"He [Tahir] is in a different league. He spins the ball both ways and he's got incredible control. If you can spin the ball both ways you get wickets.

"He does bowl the odd bad ball but if managed properly and given lots of confidence the man can bowl any team out. He's definitely somebody who should be playing Test match cricket," explained Pietersen.

One of the 31-year-old's greatest weapons is his large arsenal of deliveries.

"I have a top-spinner, flipper and I have a few different types of googlies and that helps me to deceive batsmen. I change my action slightly and bowl the same type of ball. (It means) I can bowl six to eight different types of deliveries," the spinner explained.

Having switched from the Pretoria-based Titans franchise to the Durban-based Dolphins in the off-season, Tahir has immediately shone for his new franchise, claiming 23 wickets in the first three matches of the domestic four-day competition.

Tahir has also turned out for Warwickshire and more recently Hampshire on the English County circuit.