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News

Covid-19 after-effects, hamstring niggle forced Duanne Olivier to sit out Centurion Test

Anrich Nortje, who has been ruled out of the series because of a hip injury, has undergone a bone scan

Firdose Moonda
Firdose Moonda
27-Dec-2021
The selectors felt another few days away from cricket would help with Duanne Olivier's recovery  •  Getty Images

The selectors felt another few days away from cricket would help with Duanne Olivier's recovery  •  Getty Images

Duanne Olivier was forced out of the Centurion Test against India because of the lingering effects of Covid-19, which he tested positive for a few weeks ago, and a hamstring niggle.
"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," Victor Mpitsang, the convenor of selectors, told ESPNcricinfo on Monday, the second day of the Test. Mpitsang had not given out details on Sunday when contacted by us.
"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," Mpitsang added. "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."
Olivier, the 29-year-old quick who was tipped to get into the South Africa XI in the absence of Anrich Nortje, is the leading wicket-taker in South Africa's domestic first-class competition this season, with 28 wickets at an average of under 12.
In his absence, Marco Jansen, the 21-year-old left-arm seamer, made his debut. "Statistically, Marco Jansen was the standout performer with the ball against India A in their recent tour to South Africa and the selectors backed him to take on the senior India team and do well," Mpitsang said. "Every player who has been selected for this Proteas team is believed and backed to be capable of representing the national team and give a performance of the highest level. The absence of one player does not take away from the quality that another brings to the setup."
Jansen was joint fourth on the list of highest wicket-takers in the A series overall, and South Africa's third best. Lutho Sipamla, who is not in the Test squad, and Glenton Stuurman, who has lower-limb fatigue, were both ahead of him.
It has also been learnt that Nortje, who was ruled out of the series with a hip injury, has undergone a bone scan.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent