Duanne Olivier was left out of 1st Test at Centurion due to Covid-19 after-effects

Duanne Olivier was left out of 1st Test at Centurion due to Covid-19 after-effects

Many questions were raised over South Africa’s team selection for the 1st at Centurion. Experts had suggested that leaving out Olivier for inexperienced Jansen was a blunder. However, Duanne Olivier was forced out of the Centurion Test against India because of the after effects of Covid-19, which he tested positive for a few weeks ago, and a hamstring niggle. So, he wasn’t dropped but rested for his proper recovery.

Convenor of Selectors gives details as to why Olivier was left out

“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. 

“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 pacer who was brought in as replacement 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.

Mpitsang explains Jansen’s selection

In Olivier’s 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 (against India) overall, and South Africa’s third best. Lutho Sipamla, who is not in the Test squad, and Glenton Stuurman, who has lower-limb niggle, were both ahead of him.

Meanwhile, Nortje, who was ruled out of the series with a hip injury, has undergone a bone scan.

Avishkar Govardhane is a Sports Editor and enthusiast, working here at Clout News covering the latest Cricket News.

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