Thursday, Jun 30, 2022
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Temba Bavuma Wants South Africa To Take Test Momentum Ahead Vs India In ODI Series

Temba Bavuma, South Africa’s first-ever black cricket captain feels playing a quality side like India is motivation enough for his team.

Like Hashim Amla, Temba Bavuma wants to be the pivot of South Africa’s limited overs team.
Like Hashim Amla, Temba Bavuma wants to be the pivot of South Africa’s limited overs team. Courtesy: ICC

Having done the job as a middle-order batsman for South Africa in a sensational come-from-behind 2-1 Test series victory at home against a formidable Indian cricket team, Temba Bavuma is backing the Proteas to carry the winning momentum forward as the three-match ODI series starts in Paarl on Wednesday.

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South Africa’s first-ever black cricket captain is taking fresh guard as he considers playing a quality team like India is motivation enough to give your 100 percent. Bavuma’s first home series as ODI captain was last April against Pakistan.

“The guys don’t need any more motivation,” says Bavuma in an exclusive chat.

“You’re coming up against a team like India. We’re desperate to build on that Test series win because India have generally had the better of us in recent years. They’ve got some of the best players on the planet who are likely to go well in all conditions.

“We understand the cricketing rivalry between the sides. These are series you want to be involved in and opponents you want to test yourselves against. We want to continue the journey towards being considered among the world’s best again.”

UPHILL TASK

The journey will be long for South Africa. Having dropped points in Ireland and Sri Lanka, South Africa will not qualify automatically for the ICC 50-over World Cup in India in 2023. This will be a perfect opportunity for South Africa to test themselves and they will be almost at full strength. South Africa will miss the injured Anrich Nortje and the rested Kagiso Rabada but will see the return of Quinton de Kock from paternity leave.

Bavuma’s relationship with teammates and the knowledge of his team puts him in an advantageous position. The good thing is he understands his limitations and who can do what. “The journey is still young with the white-ball teams, I must say. But I’ve enjoyed it so far. I was fortunate in that most of the guys, especially the senior guys, I’ve played with from school level,” says Bavuma.

“We understand each other and, most importantly, the respect is there. I spend a lot of time with KG (Rabada) on and off the field. Shamo (Tabraiz Shamsi) and Quinton (de Kock), too. These are important players to have good relationships with as a captain.

“We’re fortunate that we have several legends of the past who I can call upon, too. JP Duminy was in the T20 management camp and he added to the brains of the team. He has a great brain and I bounced ideas off him,” added South Africa’s white-ball captain.

SHEET ANCHOR

Bavuma’s greatest asset is the understanding of his role in a South African team full of stroke makers. The South African captain cherishes his job as an anchor rather than unnecessary dare devilry.

“The better you know yourself, the less likely you are to be affected by what other people say about you. I pride myself in being honest, understanding where I can improve but also not losing focus from taking the team forward,” “My skillset is not the same as a guy who comes in at the back of the innings, like David Miller,” he says.

“David generally has to be able to hit sixes from ball one. That isn’t my role in the side – I know what my strengths are.”

Bavuma admits that he follows the example set by one of the greatest ever South African batters. “I take a lot of inspiration from Hashim Amla,” he says. “When he first came into the system, he wasn’t considered a classic T20 player but he was able to adapt his game.”

The India series should a new and more confident Bavuma as South Africa seek new highs with a T20 World Cup approaching in 10 months’ time.

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