South Africa's Duanne Olivier celebrates after taking the wicket of India's Ajinkya Rahane. - REUTERS
South Africa's Duanne Olivier celebrates after taking the wicket of India's Ajinkya Rahane. - REUTERS

Duanne Olivier, a South African quick, who played his first game for South Africa in nearly three years following his forced return from England, said playing the second Test versus India at Johannesburg felt like a “debut game”.

The 29-year-old, who signed a Kolpak deal with Yorkshire in 2019 but only to return to the South African domestic circuit this season, returned with 3/64 as India were bowled out for 202 in 63.1 overs on day one of the second Test.

Duanne Olivier
Duanne Olivier. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Duanne Olivier Felt Like Debuting Again After Playing His First Test For South Africa In Nearly 3 Years

Duanne Olivier played his last Test, before the ongoing Test, at the Wanderers, in January 2019 against Pakistan, almost half of his deliveries were short of a good length and fewer than 10% were full. He was the quickest of South Africa’s four-seamers and the most successful.

Duanne Olivier took 3/64 to help restrict India after they had won the toss and chosen to bat on the opening day of the second Test at the Wanderers. It was his first international match since February 2019.

“To be honest, when I played today I felt like it was a new debut. You can say I was very nervous today,” Olivier said in a media interaction after day one’s proceedings.

Marco Jansen (Gallo)
Marco Jansen (Gallo)

Duanne Olivier opened his account with Cheteshwar Pujara’s wicket and then sent the struggling Ajinkya Rahane out for a golden duck off the very next ball to race to his 50 wickets in Test cricket.

“For me, it’s just trying to have good energy on the ball, to put the team in the best position. So we can make life easier for the batters.”

On top of the world in 2019, Duanne Olivier signed the Kolpak deal with Yorkshire and later expressed his ambitions to try and qualify for England. Duanne Olivier played three seasons in England but was no longer a Kolpak player with the loophole coming to a close at the end of 2020 in the wake of Brexit.

He has been the leading wicket-taker in South Africa’s domestic first-class competition this season with 28 wickets at an average of under 12. But the strongly-built pacer had to sit out of the first Test in Centurion because of lingering effects of COVID-19 and also a hamstring niggle.

Lungi Nigdi gave him perfect support but bowled only 11 overs, without any wicket. Marco Jansen picked four wickets whereas Kagiso Rabada and Duanne Olivier scalped three wickets each.

KL Rahul And Ravichandran Ashwin Scores 50 And 46 Respectively

India’s batting unit experienced a collapse wherein they were wrapped up at 202 runs. Duanne Olivier completed 50 wickets in Test cricket when he sent the struggling Ajinkya Rahane back for a golden duck off the very first ball.

“I don’t know why he only bowled 11 overs. I can’t tell you that but I think he was very unlucky, he was bowling exceptionally well. It’s one of these days, when you don’t get the rewards even if you bowled well. There’s still the second innings, maybe he will get the rewards then.”

KL Rahul (Image Credit: Twitter)
KL Rahul (Image Credit: Twitter)

Asked about their bowling unit’s transformation from the first Test, he said: “If you look at the first Test, as a bowling unit on the first day I don’t think we can pride ourselves on that. If you want to be hypercritical, probably we gave away 20-30 runs too many.”

“The message was simple, just try to make them play more and stick to the plan, stick to the process that makes us successful as a bowling unit. At the end of the day it’s easy to say we didn’t bowl well in the first Test. It was our first Test after a long time but no excuses. We have improved, we want to improve more. We don’t settle for anything,” he concluded.

Marco Jansen (4/31), Kagiso Rabada (3/64), and Duanne Olivier (3/64) were outstanding as they picked up wickets at regular intervals to not allow the tourists to get into any rhythm. India’s stand-in captain KL Rahul top-scored with a knock of 50, but it was Ravichandran Ashwin’s attacking 46 that helped India to 202, before being bowled out.