‘It felt like a debut game’: Kolpak returnee Olivier on his South Africa comeback | Cricket News – Times of India

JOHANNESBURG: South African quick Duanne Olivier, 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 felt like a “debut game”.
The 29-year-old, who signed a Kolpak deal with Yorkshire in 2019 but only to return to 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.

“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 the day one’s proceedings.
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, Olivier signed the Kolpak deal with Yorkshire and later expressed his ambitions to try and qualify for England.
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 a perfect support but bowled only 11 overs, without any wicket.
“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.”
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.

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