Nortje, Olivier World Cup bolters for Proteas?

Anrich Nortje (Gallo Images)
Anrich Nortje (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - They were not named in the Proteas squad for the first two ODIs against Pakistan on Thursday, but Anrich Nortje and Duanne Olivier could still be late additions to South Africa's World Cup plans.

Both are long shots, but speaking to Sport24 on Thursday Cricket South Africa (CSA) convenor of selectors Linda Zondi confirmed that they are on the radar and could feature in the Pakistan series. 

The squad named on Thursday is set for a massive shake-up, regardless of performances, for the third and fourth matches of the series as the brains trust looks to make some big decisions regarding the make-up of the World Cup squad. 

Zondi said he would be "praying on both knees" that Lungi Ngidi is fit for the start of the Sri Lanka series in March, but with the highly-rated youngster still recovering from a knee injury, there is an opportunity for somebody else to put his hand up as the third specialist seamer. 

Dane Patterson will get that chance in the first two ODIs against Pakistan, but Zondi confirmed that Olivier had come into the conversation too. 

"It would be naive of us to not consider Duanne Olivier," Zondi said.

"In terms of the bowling power, he brings a lot. We've got Kagiso Rabada, Dale Steyn and Lungi, but if one of those guys gets injured then what next?"

Olivier has been in electric form in the ongoing Test series against Pakistan with his aggressive pace and bounce seeing him top the wicket-takers charts with 16 wickets in just two matches. 

He also finished as the leading wicket-taker in the recently completed Mzansi Super League (MSL) with 20 from 10 matches. 

Nortje, meanwhile, made a rapid start to the MSL by picking up eight wickets in his first three matches for the Cape Town Blitz before he was ruled out with an ankle injury. 

It was enough, however, for him to earn an IPL deal with the Kolkata Knight Riders but Zondi suggested we could be seeing the 25-year-old back in action before then. 

"He is a guy with genuine pace, and you can't coach genuine pace," he said. 

"We would like to have a look at him."

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