Duanne Olivier, now one the Proteas’ senior strike bowlers in the absence of Morne Morkel, is relishing the prospect of a pacy wicket in the second Test in Bloemfontein.
He has seen only photographs of a green-tinged top at the Manguang Oval, but is greatly encouraged after the first Test against Bangladesh was played out on a flat track in Potchefstroom.
‘The wicket looks quite green. To bowl here you need to try and be aggressive and stay patient as long as possible,’ said Olivier, who is based in Bloemfontein with the Knights. ‘I think on day one it will be a bit slow, but then there’ll be some bounce and it will quicken up towards day three and four.’
The Proteas have not played Test cricket at Mangaung Oval since November 2008 – also against Bangladesh, when they won by an innings and 129 runs.
Olivier, who has only played four Test matches for the Proteas, admitted that he and the other bowlers will have to perform well after Morkel was ruled out for four to six weeks with a side strain.
‘Morne is a massive loss and he has been bowling really well,’ he said, ‘but it gives an opportunity for the other guys to stand up and make a name for themselves.
‘We have KG [Kagiso Rabada] leading the attack and I learn a lot from him. I also learn a lot from the senior players, so I really don’t feel there’s added pressure on me or the rest of the guys.’
He added: ‘ I didn’t start well in Potchefstroom. Maybe it’s because I try to put too much pressure on myself. But later on I settled and became more aggressive.’
Play gets under way at 10:00 on Friday.
Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix