Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Duanne Olivier signs for first half of summer

Having suggested him as a viable option on January 5 (see post 'Happy 2018') I was pleased to see Derbyshire announce today the signing of South African seamer Duanne Olivier as our overseas player for the RLODC and the first half of the county championship.

There is much to like in a fast medium bowler who has nearly 300 first-class wickets at just 22, as well as 17 at a similar average in a fledgling Test career. He isn't especially fast, perhaps of similar pace to Vernon Philander, and his run up is not really a thing of beauty, more arms and legs than aesthetics. But when he gets the ball down the other end it is usually nipping around and making the batsman play. For me, functional wins every time

He has lost a little ground in the South African pace stakes and perhaps sits around six or seven in the rankings of their seamers, assuming all are fit. Yet he is a very fine bowler and, unlike players like Morkel, Steyn and Philander, has time on his side, at 25, to get better.

That's why this stint makes a lot of sense for the player. He can come to England, hopefully take a hat full of wickets and propel himself up the national pecking order, as well as getting experience in different conditions that will serve him well. It wouldn't do us any harm either, and the thought of a seam attack of Viljoen, Olivier, Rampaul and Davis is one to whet the appetite. It takes you back to the halcyon days of Kim Barnett's captaincy, when the likes of Malcolm, Holding, Cork, Mortensen, Base, Dean and Warner would run in and regularly create havoc. It is an attack molded in the same image and has the potential, assuming fitness, to enjoy similar success.

Having been told by Barnett that our two overseas targets were bowlers who could bat, I think it threw a lot of us, me included off the scent of Olivier. I suppose my one concern in what could prove a very astute signing is that none of the four I name above have any major pretension to batting. The first three all average around 13/14 with the bat, which will place greater onus on the batsmen and wicket-keeper to get some runs on the board. You could always argue, of course, that if the top seven don't do it, should there be any major expectation of the bottom four doing so?

On paper though, that is a proper attack. A Derbyshire attack, albeit largely fashioned in far-flung foreign fields.

If they all stay fit, you will have to work for your runs against us this summer.


  1. I agree with your comment Peakfan, in that it's the job of the top seven to score runs, not numbers eight onwards. This also assumes that Viljoen, Olivier, Rampaul and Davis are all going to start in the same team.
    Billy could juggle things about, dependant on how a pitch looks, and only play three of them, thus leaving room for another bat. We must remember that Reece, Hughes, Madsen and Critchley will often be in the team, so will be available to bowl a few overs to give people a rest.
    The truth is that with this new attack, we should be knocking teams over more quickly. If they don't, then it's back to the drawing board.

  2. Another top quality signing and a clear statement of intent for the new season. The new ball attack will have some serious pace. If the top order can support Godleman and Madsen by contributing big runs – and I think this will be a good summer for Slater and Critchley in particular – and we can get a home win early in the Championship, then we are now serious promotion contenders. Well done to everybody at the club for getting the overseas players confirmed so early and of such high quality.

  3. Welcome Duanne. Pleased with the signing. Hadn’t considered him due to the talk about a bowler who bats. His figures don’t look great with the stick but let’s see. It makes me think he wasn’t first choice and perhaps a Philander type was. But kid has something to prove and let’s wish him well. I like what I saw with him in the summer and he has great averages with the ball. Bring it on.

  4. Good signing based on stats and early season conditions should suit him. Attack looks capable of taking 20 wickets IF Davis Viljoen and Rampaul can stay fit through the season . Still not sure where the BIG runs will come from but let’s hope Slater Critchley Reece and Hughes can evolve into a solid top6 with Billy and Wayne otherwise 300 plus in 1st innings may be a rarity.Cautiously optimistic

  5. It's a big ask for Will Davis to stay fit and earn a regular place in the first team

  6. Good signing. In the cc I would go with the 4 main bowlers, on the basis that getting wins is more important than avoiding defeats. Something like 4 wins, 1 draw & 2 losses would see us in the promotion mix at the half way stage. In the cc I will be happy if we take the season to the last couple of games.
    For the 1 day cup then go with the 3 bowlers. I think that Thakor will be a big miss in this competition. I do not have high expectations here as I think we look weaker on paper than last year

  7. Hopefully having so many choices in the pace attack will enable them all to stay fit and allow Will Davis to develop under the guidance if these internationals and Tony Palladio, but not burn out by not playing every match. No doubt Alex Hughes will learn and may be add a yard or two of pace which would make him an even better player than he looks to be. We have the tools, let's hope the platers can use them, if so we should have a lot to look forward to from April to September. As no batsmen signed I assume Billy will open with Matt Critchley in 20/20?

    1. There's still another T20 player to be announced, Opening Bat, so it could be anyone. I guess that player will be John Wright's call if his return is confirmed.

  8. Good signings, without doubt. My only concern for first half of season is potentially long tail - we haven't filled the Thakor all-round role (top 6 bat/4th seamer) if that can be done with perhaps a loan signing then I fancy our chances of at least a top four finish.


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