South African seamer Duanne Olivier acknowledged his anxiety ahead of his comeback game for the Proteas. Olivier, who gave the hosts the upper hand on day one of the second Test against India in Johannesburg, said that his second return felt like a debut.
Olivier played for South Africa for the first time since 2019 when he quit the national team to sign a Kolpak deal with Yorkshire. However, with the Kolpak deal collapsing after Brexit, Olivier returned to the national fold.
The 29-year old made an impact straight away, taking three wickets to help bowl out India for 202 after the visitors had won the toss.
Admitted that he was nervous, Olivier strived to put the ball in the right areas. Intending to give the South African batters an advantage by bowling out India for a modest total, the right-arm seamer stated, as quoted by News24:
"Today felt like a new debut. I was very nervous today. It was about trying to have good energy with the ball to put the team in the best position. We want to make life easier for the (Proteas) batters."
"I am still trying to bowl a touch fuller and at a good pace. I know when the ball comes out a bit floaty; this morning, there were a couple that were really full. You're not always going to get it right, but I always try to do better."
Olivier, who took three wickets, like Kagiso Rabada, dismissed India's two middle-order stalwarts. He got rid of Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane in consecutive deliveries. The spearhead's third victim was Shardul Thakur, who didn't trouble the scorers.
"Certain patches were really good, and certain ones weren't that good" - Duanne Olivier
Olivier, who bowled between 120-130 km/h said he was oblivious of his speed during the game. He reflected on his economy rate of 3.76 in 17 overs, and looked forward to improving it in the second innings, saying:
"I don't know what's going on with the speed gun, to be honest. I don't look at the speed gun to say, 'My pace is down now'. For me, I know whether I'm getting it right or not."
"There were certain patches that were really good and certain ones that weren't that good on a personal note. But there's a second innings to come, and that's where I'll try to do those things better."
The Proteas reached 35-1 by close of play on Day 1.
Mohammed Shami removed opener Aiden Markram early, but there were no further breakthroughs for the visitors.