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IND vs SA | Bowling to Virat Kohli will be tough, but exciting too, says Duanne Olivier

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Duanne Olivier has scalped 48 wickets from 10 Tests for South Africa

| Courtesy - Getty

IND vs SA | Bowling to Virat Kohli will be tough, but exciting too, says Duanne Olivier

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SportsCafe Desk

12/24/2021

South Africa fast bowler Duanne Olivier has stated that bowling to Virat Kohli will be exciting despite being tough at the same time. The speedster further added that the upcoming series against India will be the biggest series of his career as he will be playing against world-class players.

The three-match Test series between India and South Africa will begin on December 26 with the Boxing Day clash in Centurion. Team India are eyeing their first-ever Test series win in the rainbow nation, while the hosts will be looking forward to making use of the home conditions to their benefit. 

The fast bowling unit of the Proteas will be the greatest threat to the Virat Kohli-led side. Ahead of the red-ball series against South Africa, Anrich Nortje was ruled out from the Test squad due to a persistent hip injury. However, the pace attack led by Kagiso Rabada is strong enough to challenge the Indian batsmen in the three-match series.

Notably, the upcoming Test series against India would also mark Duanne Olivier’s return to the South Africa cricket team. The right-arm pacer had quit South Africa cricket in 2019 after he signed a Kolpak deal to represent Yorkshire in county cricket. However, the pacer’s hope ended due to Brexit, and he was back in South Africa to play domestic cricket before being named in Proteas side for the three-match Test series against India.

Meanwhile, Olivier has stated that the upcoming Test series against India will be the biggest series of his career as he will bowl against world-class players. The South Africa pacer further added that bowling to Virat Kohli will be exciting despite being tough at the same time.

"For me, it's probably the biggest series I will play so, if selected, there will be those pressures. We're playing against world class players but at the same time, it's an exciting challenge. Like, I'll need to bowl to (Virat) Kohli. It will be tough, but it's exciting. We'll be bowling to probably the top four batters in the world," said Olivier in an interview to Cricket South Africa (CSA).

Olivier made his Test debut in 2017 and has scalped 48 wickets from 10 matches for the Proteas in the longest format of the game. Olivier, who quit South Africa cricket in 2019 is back to the national squad after three years, and the pacer is aware of the importance the series against India brings to his team. 

"It's like making a statement to them. We are here to compete. We are not just going to roll over. For me, that is very important: throwing the first punch, to know that you are here, you are present.

"If we come out on top, it will mean a lot for South Africa in general, for Cricket South Africa and for players, because it's like a make-or-break series for players. If you do well against a top team in the world, it says something," he added.

The 29-year-old admitted he will be nervous if he is picked in the playing XI for the Boxing Day Test, as he returns to the squad after a long gap.

"I am a nervous person when it comes to playing. Wherever I play I am always nervous. If it's my first over, I am very nervous. I'll have a different feeling this time. Maybe it might be similar to a debut because I haven't played for three years. It will be interesting to see what the nerves will be like but I am sure, if I am selected to play, I think my nerves will be shot through the roof."

Olivier reckoned that he is looking forward to dealing with pressures and criticism while going forward in the game of cricket. 

"I know people will have mixed feelings about it, but at the end of the day, it's okay. You handle that and you deal with those pressures or the criticism that comes with that.

"I haven't been here for three years. So, it's a long time and it's special for any person to play for the country. You reconnect those relationships with people you have played three years ago. You get to know everyone at a different level. At the end of the day, the job is to keep things simple," Olivier added.

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