The South African cricket team suffered a blow on Tuesday when fast bowler Anrich Nortje was ruled out of the three-match Test series against India, which starts in Centurion on Sunday.

Cricket South Africa announced that Nortje had not recovered from an unspecified “persistent injury”.

Nortje, who is capable of bowling in excess of 150kmh, has taken 46 wickets in ten Tests since the start of the 2019/20 season, 16 more than any of his teammates. He was named South Africa’s cricketer of the year in May.

Nortje’s injury opens the door for Duanne Olivier to return to the Test team after an absence of more than two years during which he played English county cricket for Yorkshire as a Kolpak player.

With seven other fast bowlers in South Africa’s squad for the series, no replacement will be called up for Nortje.