South African pacer Duanne Olivier, who is making a comeback to the national side is looking forward to the battle against Virat Kohli and his men in the upcoming India South Africa test series starting from 26 December at Centurion.
Duanne Olivier had an excellent start to his Test career as he picked up 48 wickets in his first 10 games. His best performance came against Pakistan where he picked 24 wickets in three tests and was adjudged the Player of the series. But decided on taking the KOLPAK route (which allows overseas players to play county cricket in the UK as it was then a part of the European Union) to represent Yorkshire. He harbored hopes of playing for England one day.
However, with Britain exiting the European Union, Oliver’s hopes were dashed and he was back in his land of birth, playing domestic cricket before being named in the Proteas side for the three Tests against India starting Sunday.
“This will be the biggest series of my career against world-class players and it’s an exciting challenge. I need to bowl to Virat Kohli. It will be tough but it will also be exciting. I will probably be bowling to one of the top four batters in world cricket,” Olivier spoke to Cricket South Africa’s media wing.
“For me, it will be like making a statement to them that we are here to compete and are not going to roll over. For me, it’s very important to start that first punch,” said Olivier.
It was a massive surprise, didn’t expect a call up: Duanne Olivier
Duanne Olivier’s decision to leave South Africa was primarily based on the selection policy where there was a mandatory quota for players of color. But the tall pacer is back, and he revealed that he did not expect to play for South Africa and he felt very welcome upon his return. He is now back and believes that he has matured.
“It was a massive surprise as I didn’t expect a call-up at all. When I came back I felt very welcome,” he said.
Oliver firmly believes that South Africa can use the conditions to their advantage although all the grass that’s currently on view on the Supersport park’s 22-yard strip won’t be there on Boxing Day. The Indian team has historically found it tough in African conditions due to pace and bounce. Hence, they have failed to win a test series in the rainbow nation.
“We need to use conditions to our advantage. We can’t get carried away. It might seem and might have bounced. I reckon some grass will be shaved. With a lot of rain being forecast, it’s not ideal for preparation,” Oliver assessed.
• Duanne Olivier excited about bowling to Virat Kohli
• Olivier is making a comeback to the African side after signing a Kolpak deal in 2019