Bavuma believes Proteas have a ‘nice headache’ ahead of T20 World Cup

27 July 2021 - 10:52 By mahlatse mphahlele
Proteas limited overs captain Temba Bavuma.
Proteas limited overs captain Temba Bavuma.
Image: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

With the SA T20 side boasting five capable opening batsmen‚ captain Temba Bavuma says the selectors are going to have a ‘nice headache’ while trying to balance and selecting the team for the World Cup.

In the recent T20 series wins against the West Indies and Ireland‚ the Proteas opened the batting with different combinations involving Quinton de Kock‚ Reeza Hendricks and Bavuma.

The other capable openers in the squad were Janneman Malan and Aiden Markram‚ who were used at number three and four. This is where they may be used during the World Cup in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in October and November.

“It is a nice headache to have for the selectors in terms of who could come in at number three‚ and as a replacement opener‚” said Bavuma‚ who finally found some scoring form by scoring 71 off 51 in the final and third T20 against Ireland after a lean spell.

Bavuma said he would not mind playing a floating role at the top‚ but added that he prefers opening with De Kock as they have established a good partnership.

“In my T20 career‚ I have mostly batted at number three and I have always enjoyed it. I enjoyed controlling the innings from that position but in saying that‚ the coach understands the relationship and synergy that I have with Quinny (De Kock)‚ and he always encourages that.

“From my side‚ I am not too fazed by whether I open the batting or I come in at number three. My mind would be to execute whatever the team needs at that point. I think the preference from the coach’s point of view would be myself and Quinton at the top of the batting.”

If the selectors and the coach settle for the opening partnership of Bavuma and De Kock‚ they have another headache in the rest of the top six as Faf du Plessis is still available for selection.

“The other conversation to have would be who will come in at three‚ four‚ five and six‚ which is generally quite solidified if I would say.

“I think all the guys who have been given opportunities have at some point put their hands up. The series wins over West Indies and Ireland have given us a clear understanding of who are the guys we would like to take forward.

“But more importantly‚ it is the roles that we would like them to play and I think we are probably about 70 to 80% ready for the World Cup I would say. We still have to go to Sri Lanka on spinner-friendly conditions‚ so we want to see the guys who can dominate in those conditions.

“From a team point of view‚ we are definitely not a finished product. There are definitely areas that we would like to iron out‚ particularly with our batting. So‚ if I were to give us a rating I would say that we are about 75 to 80%”