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South Africa have added the fast bowling duo of Duanne Olivier and uncapped 21-year-old Lungi Ngidi to their squad for the second Test against India later this week. The changes came into place after Dale Steyn picked up a heel injury in the Cape Town Test that ruled him out of the series.
Olivier has played five Tests – all of them in 2017 – and Ngidi made his international debut in a T20I against Sri Lanka last year but is yet to play the other two formats at the international stage.
Olivier last played Tests in September-October against Bangladesh when he took five wickets in four innings before representing Knights in T20 and one-day cricket. He had made his Test debut against Sri Lanka a year ago in Johannesburg where he took five wickets in the match but has not been able to establish himself as a regular member of the side against strong competition. He also struggled with a knee injury this season, which kept him out of some domestic games.
Ngidi, on the other hand, has played three T20Is in which he has collected six wickets with an impressive economy rate of 5.50. He played all those matches against Sri Lanka last year in January, and took 4 for 19 in Johannesburg. He was part of the ODI squad but withdrew with an abdominal muscle injury. He was then part of the South African A side that toured England where he suffered a back injury. It took Ngidi four months to recover and he has only played one first-class match since comeback and took nine wickets for 83 in the game, signaling his readiness for more game-time.
Since then he has featured in domestic matches for Titans that featured his best T20 figures of 4 for 14 against Warriors in the Ram Slam T20 Challenge.
Both Olivier and Ngidi are currently playing in the domestic one-day cup and will compete with allrounders Chris Morris and Andile Phehlukwayo for one spot in the final XI, with conditions on the Highveld set to suit an attack of four seamers. However, with India’s bowlers challenging South Africa, they may opt to include a seventh specialist batsman in the XI and all of Olivier, Ngidi, Morris or Phehlukwayo could be benched.
The second Test starts on January 13 in Centurion.
Squad for second Test: Faf du Plessis (capt), Hashim Amla, Temba Bavuma, Theunis de Bruyn, Quinton de Kock (wk), AB de Villiers, Dean Elgar, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, Morne Morkel, Chris Morris, Andile Phehlukwayo, Vernon Philander, Kagiso Rabada.
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