‘Temba Bavuma is still in our conversations‚’ says Proteas coach Ottis Gibson
The door has not been completely shut on Test middle order batsman Temba Bavuma in the Proteas’ one-day international setup with the 2019 Cricket World Cup less than a year away in England.
Eyebrows were raised this week when Proteas coach Ottis Gibson named Test opener Dean Elgar as a replacement for injured Hashim Amla for the ODI series against Zimbabwe‚ overlooking Bavuma‚ who has two ODI caps and scored a century on debut.
Gibson explained that Bavuma‚ whose last ODI was against Bangladesh last year‚ remains in their future plans but they wanted to have another look at Elgar‚ who has played six ODIs‚ the last against India in Mumbai in 2015.
“Temba is still in our conversations but you can only pick 14 players‚ and unfortunately this time he misses out. However‚ this does not mean it is the end of it going forward‚” Gibson said.
“Like I said‚ there will be more opportunities for guys like Temba to come back. We have had a look at him‚ and this is an opportunity to see someone else.
“I would imagine that Dean’s selection has caused a little bit of a talking point.
“What we said is that we are trying to give opportunities‚ and if you look at the opportunities that we have given over the last 12 months we picked up a lot of youngsters.
“In this squad‚ Faf‚ Quinnie [Quinton de Kock]‚ Hash [Hashim Amla] and David Miller are missing and we don’t have a lot of seniors‚ if you like. Dean is a like-for-like swap for Hash.
“When you think about the World Cup‚ this is an opportunity for him to show us what he can do because he has always said that he wants to play ODI cricket.”
The national coach said he expect to have all-rounder Chris Morris after he returned from a long injury layoff.
“The biggest problem with Morris is fitness‚ not in terms of general fitness but in terms of staying on the park. In the last three years he has had a lot of injuries and‚ so cricket issues‚ and once he is fit and strong his real talent will really come to the fore‚” Gibson said.
“That is the message that I have given him already. We know what he can do and he is back to fitness which is fantastic. If he can play for the next three to four months for the Titans‚ that will be good for us.”
Source: TMG Digital.