Duanne Olivier
Duanne Olivier. (Photo: Getty Images)

Last Update on: December 27th, 2021 at 06:18 pm

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South Africa convenor of selectors Victor Mpitsang cleared the air on fast bowler Duanne Olivier‘s absence from South Africa‘s playing XI for the first Test against India. Back from his spell in county cricket, Duanne Olivier was touted to be the third pacer alongside Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi after Anrich Nortje was ruled out of the series due to an injury.

However, surprisingly for many, young left arm seamer Marco Jansen made his Test debut at the Centurion in place of Olivier. While many thought of this as a tactical decision, Mpitsang revealed that Olivier had been recovering from COVID-19 and they weren’t sure about his match fitness.

Duanne Olivier
Duanne Olivier. (Photo: Twitter)

While speaking to ESPN Cricinfo, convenor of selectors, Victor Mpitsang said:

“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.”

Mpitsang added:

“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.”

Duanne Olivier also picked up a hamstring niggle

Duanne Olivier also injured his hamstring during an inter-squad game and the selectors didn’t want to rush him back to full fitness as there were three Tests in total. Jansen didn’t have a particularly impressive debut as he bowled some loose deliveries that the Indians capitalized on.

“He picked up a hamstring niggle during the two-day, inter-squad match at the start of the camp and the selectors did not want to risk him unnecessarily when there are two more Test matches to think about,” Mpitsang concluded.

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