Duanne Olivier
Duanne Olivier Image Credit: AFP

Cape Town: South Africa are to keep up their pace barrage of Pakistan’s frail batting line-up as captain Faf du Plessis said that fast bowler Duanne Olivier will be retained for the second Test at Newlands starting on Thursday.

Olivier recorded career-best figures of 11-96 as South Africa won the first Test in Pretoria by six wickets. However, his place was immediately under threat after Du Plessis said that stalwart all-rounder Vernon Philander would play in Cape Town on his return from injury.

Du Plessis has now suggested that both will get a run, which means either no place for spinner Keshav Maharaj in the side, or one fewer batsman in the line-up with Philander coming to the crease at No. 7.

“We’ve got a lot of skill in our bowling attack and Duanne is more an enforcer and a guy that puts you on the back foot,” Du Plessis said.

“It can sometimes be a bit challenging for batters, especially when they come from the subcontinent, where the ball doesn’t bounce as high.

“He’s a fit guy that can bowl long spells and I like to have that in the armoury. He runs at you and is around your head most of the time. It’s not comfortable for anyone.” Both options for South Africa to fit Philander and Olivier in the side carry risk. Pakistan will have their premier seamer Mohammad Abbas back from injury and playing one batsman short against a touring attack that gave them plenty of alarm in the first Test could be problematic.

But Newlands also has a surface that takes spin later in the Test and leaving out Maharaj means no recognised slow bowler in the team.

To add to Pakistan’s woes, left-handed middle-order batsman Haris Sohail has been ruled out of the ongoing tour of South Africa due to a right knee injury.

— Reuters