STEVE Patterson is expecting big things to come in the very near future from “captain’s dream” fast bowler Duanne Olivier.

The South African quick is yet to consistently show his best in a Yorkshire shirt after two and a bit seasons at Emerald Headingley.

He has taken 63 wickets in 20 first-class appearances for the county since signing a deal initially as a Kolpak player before a change of status to overseas ahead of 2021 due to Brexit rules.

But that has only included two five-wicket hauls.

Olivier hasn’t had it easy since joining the White Rose. After finding his feet during his first summer in 2019, last year was decimated by coronavirus.

This year, he had to go through 20 days of quarantine before linking up with the county, hampering his preparations somewhat.

However, he was particularly impressive in the first innings of last week’s County Championship win against Kent at Canterbury when taking three wickets on a tired pitch, leading people to think he is starting to find his groove.

In all, he claimed four wickets in the match.

Fingers crossed, that thought is proved correct when Yorkshire travel to Hove to face Sussex in their next Championship fixture, starting tomorrow.

“Duanne did a great job at Kent on a surface which didn’t suit him,” said Patterson.

“It was low and slow, and it almost took away the value he brings with the ball in terms of his pace and bounce. But he stuck at it and came away with plenty of reward.

“We know what he’s capable of. He’s got natural ability, and he’s shown it before - both in Test match cricket for South Africa and, at times, playing for us.

“In his early days he was wanting to prove a few things to people - maybe trying to justify why we’d signed him - and was trying too hard.

“Now, he’s much more settled around the place. He’s been here a couple of years, is a big part of the dressing room and has a lot of mates here.

“I’d like to think he’s very comfortable in his surroundings.

“Everything’s there for him to just relax and enjoy his cricket. If he does that for the rest of the summer, I would fully expect him to have a very successful year.”

When Patterson talks about everything being in place for the 28-year-old to hit a hot streak of form, that includes the security of a new contract.

Earlier this month, he signed a one-year extension to his current deal and will remain at Headingley until at least the end of 2022.

“The best thing for me about Duanne, and it’s very simple, is that he always wants to bowl and is happy to bowl as much as possible,” added Patterson.

“That is absolutely priceless for a captain because there are occasions through a day where you’re not sure who to turn to and there are lads who are tired.

“But D never complains, he bowls his overs and is always happy to bowl more. That’s a captain’s dream.”

Yorkshire are expecting a surface more conducive for fast bowling at Hove, where they will take on a Sussex side who are the early leaders in the Group Three table with 38 points having drawn at Lancashire and then won at Glamorgan last week.

They sit four points clear of Yorkshire, who are third. Lancashire are sandwiched in between.

“We haven’t played there for a long time, and the pitch used to be a bit of a slow featherbed,” said coach Andrew Gale. “But I’m told now that there’s a bit of pace and bounce in it.

“That will be good for the game.

“I thought Duanne’s line and lengths at Kent were as good as I’ve ever seen him bowl for Yorkshire. They were a lot fuller on a pitch which didn’t really suit him.

“If he bowls like that on a quicker pitch, he will certainly get his rewards for it.”

In terms of team news for tomorrow, Gary Ballance has been cleared to play after suffering from concussion just prior to the opening County Championship game.

Ben Coad continues his rehabilitation from a shoulder injury and is expected to be out for a further three to four weeks.

Matthew Fisher is currently playing for the 2nd XI as a batsman, but is two to three weeks away from being fully fit following an abdominal injury.

Matthew Waite will be sidelined for a further four to five weeks after suffering from a side-strain in the final pre-season friendly.


Gary Ballance
Dom Bess
Harry Brook
Tom Kohler-Cadmore
Adam Lyth
Duanne Olivier
Steve Patterson (Captain)
Mat Pillans
Joe Root
Jonny Tattersall (Wicketkeeper)
Jordan Thompson
David Willey

Sussex will field former Yorkshire seamer Ollie Robinson, who claimed 9-78 in the second innings of last week’s win at Glamorgan.

South African batsman Stiaan van Zyl is one of their two overseas players. The other, Australian Travis Head, is yet to arrive.