Duanne Olivier in as Ngidi replacement for Pakistan Tests
South Africa bring back fast bowler Duanne Olivier for the upcoming home Tests against Pakistan, replacing the injured Lungi Ngidi.
Ngidi suffered a significant ligament injury to his right knee after falling awkwardly while fielding in the one-off T20I against Australia recently that has now sidelined him for 12 weeks.
Olivier has five Test caps to his name, the last of which came in October 2017. The Bloemfontein quick picked 17 wickets in those fixtures – all at home – while also boasting of sound first-class credentials [361 wickets in 90 games].
“As unfortunate as Lungi’s injury is we are blessed to have outstanding depth in our fast bowling resources. Duanne has impressed on his previous appearances for the Proteas and has had a good franchise season to date with 20 wickets in his five matches at an average of 22.80,” CSA National selection panel convener Linda Zondi said. “Before that, he had an outstanding season in the four-day franchise competition where he scored 823 runs, including three centuries, at the impressive average of 69.”
Another first-class performer who made the cut in the 13-man squad is the uncapped 23-year-old Zubayr Hamza. The left-handed top-order batsman enjoyed an impressive tour of India in July-August 2018, scoring 156 runs across three innings, and also has a personal-best of an unbeaten 202 in first-class cricket.
“Zubayr has been one of the standout cricketers in domestic cricket over the past year and carried that form into the South Africa A tour to India where he averaged over 50 in the four-day series against tough opposition and under tough conditions,” Zondi said.
“His selection is part of our vision for the future as we start to feed new players into the system. It is inevitable that some of our senior players will start thinking of retiring in years to come and it is vital that we have a good succession plan in place,” he added.
The Test series kicks off in Centurion on December 26, before heading to Cape Town and Johannesburg in the first half of January 2019.
South Africa squad: Faf du Plessis (capt), Hashim Amla, Temba Bavuma, Theunis de Bruyn, Quinton de Kock, Dean Elgar, Zubayr Hamza, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, Duanne Olivier, Vernon Philander, Kagiso Rabada, Dale Steyn