Temba Bavuma will play T20 cricket once more

The national white-ball captain of South Africa will remain in that position until someone tells him otherwise, and with a new coaching staff in place, he acknowledges that possibility. The last time South Africans saw Temba Bavuma in that capacity was during his team’s humiliating defeat to the Netherlands in Adelaide on November 6, which eliminated them from contention for the T20 World Cup semifinals. Given that he is not participating in the current SA20, what has he been doing…

I’ve really been taking it easy the last two weeks, Bavuma said on Thursday in Bloemfontein, where he will represent South Africa on Friday against England in the first of three World Cup Super League (WCSL) games. I’ve had the chance to spend time with family and resolve problems. It’s been incredibly soothing.

Bavuma needs to awaken from his slumber. If South Africa wants to enter the World Cup straight, which will be held in India in October and November, England must be defeated at least once. Only five of the South African team’s 16 games in the WCSL have ended in victories. In order to avoid having to compete in a qualifying tournament in Zimbabwe in June and July, the team needs to win three more games from its remaining five. He will serve as  South Africa’s white-ball captain.

Since that terrible day in Adelaide, Mark Boucher has been replaced as red-ball and white-ball coach by Shukri Conrad and Rob Walter, and the SA20’s success has shown that South Africans are still cricket lovers. Just a little less so when South Africa is in play. The men’s national team is now a defective product.

Bavuma’s starting price of USD $50,000 was arguably too much for a specialist batsman with a T20 strike rate of 123.21, which is why he wasn’t purchased in the SA20 player auction. The fact that he is South Africa’s captain has no bearing on the free market. Bavuma has had his nose rubbed against the window of the roaring success the SA20 has become, just like millions of his fellow countrymen have done. The tournament has been blessed with excellent weather, large spectators, top-notch cricket, and plenty of opportunities for enjoyment for all. Someone so important to the game in South Africa being excluded from the biggest thing to come to cricket in decades must seem weird.

Bavuma remarked I guess it seems weird. There isn’t much I can do about it now that it has already happened that way. Even though it’s unusual, life must continue on. I most certainly fall into the category of folks who move on. No matter what occurs, no matter what challenges you confront, I’ll always attempt to maintain a positive attitude. Under Bavuma, South Africa has had a respectable record, winning 15 of their 25 T20Is and half of their 14 ODIs as he is very talented. However, the Dutch’s loss was by far their poorest performance in recent memory. Rightfully and immediately, people wondered if he was thinking about leaving his post as captain.

Bavuma said it was a very emotional occasion. I believed it was unjust to ask that query straight after leaving the field following a defeat. The pertinent parties were spoken with. I remain involved. I told the boys that I would be pleased to take the lead if they still wanted me to. It’s never been about me, ever. The team has always been the focus. I have attempted to defend the guys whenever the squad has struggled. I don’t think you’ve ever heard me say it was about me when the team performed well. I’m happy to move aside if the team decides to follow another leader in a different route.

Conrad has been given the responsibility to lead the team in the interim by Walter, who will make that choice once he returns from New Zealand in time to take over the team next month. He’ll have a vision, and that vision needs to be driven, according to Bavuma. Right now, I have that responsibility thanks to the coach. I’ll keep working hard. Thankfully, I have a lot of guys who are behind me. Everything is going as usual.