By Graham Hardcastle
They say limited-overs cricket is generally a batsman’s game. But Yorkshire quick Duanne Olivier is confident he can secure some significant rewards during the forthcoming Royal London One-Day Cup.
The Vikings begin their latest North Group campaign against Leicestershire at Emerald Headingley on Wednesday, starting at 11am.
South African fast bowler Olivier will make his one-day debut for the county having signed a three-year Kolpak contract in late February.
Olivier has impressed in his first two Championship matches, taking 11 wickets in all.
And Yorkshire are hoping his extra pace can be a real asset to them in 50-over cricket – as is the same with the Vitality Blast later in the summer.
The 26-year-old played his only two one-day internationals for South Africa in January.
Last year, he claimed 13 wickets from eight RL50 matches whilst playing as Derbyshire’s overseas player.
“I am very much looking forward to this competition,” he said.
“Last year with Derby I had a pretty good one-day season.
“For me, it’s just about sticking to basics. In the UK, guys like to come particularly hard at the bowlers in the first 10 overs. And that gives you more opportunities to take wickets.
“I don’t think you need to do something different every ball. If you stick to the basics you will get rewarded.”
Olivier took the new ball for Derbyshire last year, but did not in his ODIs for South Africa.
“I don’t mind taking the new ball,” he said. “At the death, also, it’s an area where I try to do better every time I play.
“It won’t always pay off at the death because you can easily travel the distance. But when you’re on song, good things can happen.”
Olivier has played his domestic one-day cricket for the Knights in South Africa and believes it is a different game to English 50-over cricket.
“It’s a little bit more conservative back home,” he said.
“Here, they come particularly hard in the first 10 overs and at the death as well.
“If you look at the scores here over the past couple of years, it’s so easy to score 400 on certain grounds. And those totals are sometimes chased down.
“Back home, the Titans score 350 quite regularly. But other than that, not really. The conditions are different, which plays a massive part.
“This will be a great competition just before the World Cup.
“There will be guys very keen to put their names into contention for England’s final 15.
“Certain players who are nailed down will also play a few games to get some practice and rhythm. I’m really looking forward to it.”
The county have reached the knockout stages for the past five years, twice reaching the semi-finals.
Last year, they were beaten in the semi-finals by Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl, with James Vince scoring a sparkling century.
And Yorkshire have not won any limited overs silverware since 2002 when they won the C&G Trophy.
Coach Andrew Gale was an Academy player then and watched on from the stands at Lord’s.
Olivier is refusing to look too far ahead, but he admits: “To play at Lord’s would be fantastic.
“Yorkshire have done well in one-day cricket. They’ve been consistent without getting to the final. But if we stick to our game plans, we’ll get rewarded when it matters.
“We just have to break it down game by game and see what things are working and where we can be better.”
England’s Adil Rashid and David Willey are available for the first three games, but Joe Root is not as there are eight ODIs or warm-up games before the World Cup starting on May 30 and the Test captain has already spent significant time at the crease during the past fortnight.