SA v IND: Why wasn’t Duanne Olivier picked for the Boxing Day Test?


Duanne Olivier is one of the most highly-rated fast bowlers in South Africa and it came as a massive surprise when he didn’t make it to the playing XI. The 29-year-old has a stellar record in the longest format, having picked up 48 wickets in just 10 games at an average under 20 and has over 500 wickets in his first-class career. But the fast bowler had tested positive a few days ago.

It was confirmed by Victor Mpitsang, the convener of selectors, that the fast bowler returned with a positive test a few weeks ago which forced him to isolate himself. Adding to it, he was also nursing a hamstring injury which he picked up during a two-day inter-squad game. He was the first choice to replace the injured Anrich Nortje in the playing XI, but did not make it as he had a stellar domestic campaign, picking up 28 wickets at an average under 12.

“Duanne Olivier is healthy and well but did return a positive Covid-19 test result a number of weeks ago, which forced him to quarantine and took time away from his training ahead of the current Betway Test series against India. This [Covid-19] did take place while he was away with the intention to spend time with his family and his workloads were not where the selection panel would have wanted them to be by the time he entered the team bubble ahead of the first Test match,” Victor Mpitsang said as quoted by ESPN Cricinfo.

Jansen benefits from the absence of Duanne Olivier

Marco Jansen featured for the Mumbai Indians in IPL 2021.

Duanne Olivier’s injury paved way for Marco Jansen to make his Test debut. Jansen, the 21-year-old left-arm pacer, had a sensational outing against India A in the series that was concluded recently, and Mpitsang mentioned that he was the standout option. As it stands, it is being that Nortje has undergone a scan and will be missing the entire series.

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The second day of the first Test in Centurion has been interrupted by rain and it has managed to wash out the first two sessions, highly likely to do the same to the third one as well. India are in total command with the bat, scoring 271 runs for the loss of 3 wickets with centurion KL Rahul and Ajinkya Rahane in the middle.