Bavuma says India series is key to Proteas’ T20 World Cup ambitions
Proteas limited-overs captain Temba Bavuma wants his men to make best use of their upcoming T20 series against India to sharpen up for the ICC T20 World Cup later this year.
The series in India is scheduled to start on June 9.
This will be the first time Bavuma’s men play T20 cricket since last year’s T20 World Cup which saw SA knocked out in the Super 12 stage.
This year’s T20 World Cup will be staged in Australia from October.
“I think there's excitement among the T20 group to be with each other again. We have to use those first few days to remind ourselves how to go about with our cricket and to dust off whatever cobwebs might be there,” Bavuma said.
“We need to get our preparations going for the whole season.
“We obviously have the World Cup this year, so this T20 series against India would be good to start preparation towards that.
“But it’s a bit weird we are only playing (T20 matches) a few months before the World Cup.”
While there’s nothing they can do with the very limited T20 action, Bavuma is consoled by the fact that some Proteas stars who played in the Indian Premier League (IPL) showed great form.
Players such as David Miller, Quinton de Kock and Kagiso Rabada impressed during their time in the IPL.
“We will have to cover our bases and will have to prepare as well as we can,” Bavuma said.
“I expect it to be tough, but I think it’s a tour our people can look forward to. We have a few guys in form such as David Miller, Quiny was doing his thing in the IPL and KG. I think it will be a good and exciting series.”
India have named a number of new faces in their team to face SA, but Bavuma said whatever side India chooses is always a strong team.
“India will always have a competitive side. I’m sure there will be a few guys who have done well in the IPL. I did see Umran Malik, the young speedster. He is an exciting prospect for Indian cricket.”
Proteas T20I squad: Temba Bavuma (captain, Lions), Quinton de Kock (Titans), Reeza Hendricks (Lions), Heinrich Klaasen (Titans), Keshav Maharaj (Dolphins), Aiden Markram (Titans), David Miller (Dolphins), Lungi Ngidi (Titans), Anrich Nortje (Warriors), Wayne Parnell (Western Province), Dwaine Pretorius (North West Dragons), Kagiso Rabada (Lions), Tabraiz Shamsi (Titans), Tristan Stubbs (Warriors), Rassie van der Dussen (Lions), Marco Jansen (Warriors).
India T20I squad: KL Rahul (c), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ishan Kishan, Deepak Hooda, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (wk), Dinesh Karthik (wk), Hardik Pandya, Venkatesh Iyer, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel, Ravi Bishnoi, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel, Avesh Khan, Arshdeep Singh, Umran Malik.
India vs SA T20I fixtures
June 9: in Delhi
June 12: in Cuttack
June 14: in Vizag
June 17: in Rajkot
June 19: in Bengaluru.