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Olivier Has Created a Nice Selection Headache for Us: Faf du Plessis

Cricketnext Staff |December 29, 2018, 11:06 AM IST
Olivier Has Created a Nice Selection Headache for Us: Faf du Plessis

South African captain Faf du Plessis has conceded that the success of fast bowler Duanne Olivier, who bagged 11/96 in the first Test against Pakistan in his side's comfortable six-wicket win at Centurion, has created a “nice selection headache.”

Olivier only played the match as a replacement for the injured Vernon Philander, who is expected to be fit for the next Test at Cape Town, and with established stars such as Dale Steyn and Kagiso Rabada already in the line-up, the call about who will make the cut will be a tricky one.

“Olivier was very uncomfortable to face on a wicket like that," du Plessis said. "They (Pakistan) got themselves in a position where we felt we needed wickets. We were talking about restricting them to 250 (in the third innings). In the end, it’s an incredible effort from the bowlers. We expect Vernon to come back, but Duanne has posed a nice selection headache for us.”

For his part, 26-year Olivier, who was only playing his sixth Test, was pleased with the contribution he made and insisted he wasn’t concerning himself with the selection challenge his success has now created for the South African think-tank.

“At the end of the day, it's about contributing to the team and making the most of each opportunity," he said. “I got good assistance from this wicket. But it's about trying to be aggressive every ball,” the lanky bowler said after the match.

“In the last two months, I've tried to take it ball by ball. I can't control the result, but I can control my intensity and aggression.”

Meanwhile, Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed rued his team’s poor batting performance in the Test, especially their second innings collapse when they went from 101/1 to 190 all out.

"We're very disappointed,” he said, referring to the second innings. “We had an opportunity to score some runs but lost too many wickets in the final session. We have quality bowlers, but just didn't have the runs on the board. Hopefully (Mohammad) Abbas will be back for the second Test."

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