Faf du Plessis has confirmed that Duanne Olivier will start in the second Test against Pakistan at Newlands.
Olivier took 11-96 in the Centurion Test and handed the skipper and selectors a difficult decision. The 26-year-old replaced a recovering Philander in the Centurion Test, and with Philander being a definite starter at his fortress, the question was always whether the Proteas would give Olivier another go.
Du Plessis confirmed in the captain’s presser on Wednesday that he will start.
‘Just that enforcer role that I think is important, and he brings a variety to our attack,’ Du Plessis said.
‘We’ve got a lot of skill in our bowling attack, and Duane is more an enforcer and a guy that puts you on the back foot.
‘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 is a fit guy that can bowl long spells, and I like to have that in the armory. He runs at you and is around your head most of the time. It’s not comfortable for anyone.’
This means that there’s a toss-up between dropping Maharaj and going with a full seam attack, or dropping an extra batsman and playing five bowlers.
Du Plessis opted not to reveal his selection strategy.
‘We still deciding what we need to do, historically Newlands is a ground where the pitch spins a bit. So it’s about finding that balance. For us, it’s always a tricky circumstance to try and find out what that is.
‘There are a few combinations – whether it’s the extra seamer, whether it’s the spinner or whether it’s playing a batter less, it’s something we speak about quite regularly. I’m sure the selectors after lunch will have an answer after lunch regarding that.’