South Africa’s comeback man Duanne Oliver is raring to bowl against India Test captain Virat Kohli in the upcoming three-match series at home, scheduled to be commencing on December 26. The 29-year-old Oliver had decided on taking the KOLPAK route (which allows overseas players to play county cricket in the UK as it was then a part of the European Union) to represent Yorkshire.
However, with Britain exiting the European Union, Oliver’s hopes were dashed and he eventually came back to the South African team ahead of the three Tests against India starting Sunday.
During a recent chat with Cricket South Africa’s media wing, Duanne Oliver said, “This will be the biggest series of my career against world-class players and it’s an exciting challenge. I need to bowl to Virat Kohli. It will be tough but it will also be exciting. I will probably be bowling to one of the top four batters in world cricket. For me, it will be like making a statement to them that we are here to compete and are not going to roll over. For me, it’s very important to start that first punch.”
Duanne Oliver firmly believes that South Africa can use the conditions to their advantage, however, contrary to popular perception about the pitch conditions in Centurion, Oliver feels that it will be “slow” to begin with on the first day and as the match progresses, the pace in the strip will be on the ascendancy.
With no Anrich Nortje in the squad, Duanne Oliver, who was known for being a hit deck bowler and now, after his stint with Yorkshire, is more in Vernon Philander’s mold, is ready to make the difference.
Explaining the same, Duanne Oliver said, “UK has helped me a lot, perfecting that fuller length, because it can come across as floaty and I wasn’t as consistent. I am still working on it and I am not going to get it right every single time.”
On a lighter note, Oliver said that he would need a new baggy Test cap as his earlier one is now framed.