South Africa have been dealt an injury blow ahead of their three-Test series with England, as fast bowler Duanne Olivier has been ruled out of the series with a hip injury (England 4/7, South Africa 3/1, Draw 9/2 – Series Winner).
Olivier sustained the issue during South Africa’s innings and 56-run defeat to England Lions at Canterbury earlier this week and it has now been confirmed that he will take no part in the Test series, which starts at Lord’s on Wednesday (England 8/11, South Africa 11/4, Draw 10/3 – 1st Test Match Betting).
“Duanne presented with significant discomfort involving his right hip flexor muscle at the close of play on day three of the four-day tour match,” said Proteas team doctor Dr Hashendra Ramjee.
“Due to the extent of the injury, he has been ruled out of the three-match Test series against England and will return home where he will commence his rehabilitation with the Gauteng Central Lions medical team.”
The news of Olivier’s injury is a blow to South Africa captain Dean Elgar’s (pictured) bowling attack, particularly as there are already concerns surrounding the fitness of fellow paceman Kagiso Rabada.
Rabada missed the final match of South Africa’s T20I series with England last month due to an ankle injury, while he was also not considered for the warm-up match against the Lions.
It remains to be seen whether the 27-year-old, who sits fifth in the ICC Test bowling rankings, will be available for the first Test, with his need to return having been heightened by the injury suffered to Olivier.
England also have fitness concerns to contend with in their bowling attack, as Craig Overton was forced off the field during the final morning of the Lions’ victory over South Africa with a back problem.
The Somerset seamer must now be considered a doubt for the Lord’s Test, but there was better news for England regarding Ollie Robinson, who took five wickets at Canterbury.
Robinson (3/1 England’s Top Wicket Taker – 1st Innings) will now be hoping to return to the Test arena on Wednesday for the first time since the final match of last winter’s ill-fated Ashes series in Australia, with the 28-year-old having been struggling with his own back issue over recent months.