Bavuma eyes shot at number four
The retirement of batting talisman AB de Villiers has opened a gaping hole at number four in the Proteas lineup and Temba Bavuma has announced his intention to put his hand up for the position.
Bavuma batted at number four last year during the fourth test against England where he scored 46 and 12 in the 177-run loss at Old Trafford as South Africa lost the series 3-1 and he wants to give it another go.
“I will be opportunistic because there is a spot open for someone to come in at number four and I am putting up my hand for that position‚” he said yesterday at the Proteas camp at University of Pretoria, where they are preparing for the upcoming tour of Sri Lanka next month.
“Hopefully the selectors are looking towards me but, if not, wherever they want me to play I will try to execute as best as possible.
“There is going to be an opportunity for someone to put up their hand.”
Bavuma said batting at number four against England in Manchester was a valuable learning experience and the position would put him in a better position to score big runs.
“I had the opportunity in England and I quite enjoyed it even though it was a tough test match and series‚” he said.
“I enjoyed the responsibility and in a way it is something that could help my game because I have not been able to convert most of my starts.
“Coming in at number four‚ the opportunity is there to score those big runs and it goes hand in hand with what I am trying to achieve.
“But the decision rests with the selectors‚ the coach and the captain.
“I definitely put my hand up for the role.”
Looking ahead to the tour of Sri Lanka‚ where South Africa are due to play two tests‚ five ODIs and one T20 between July 12 and August 14‚ Bavuma said it was going to be about adapting to spin.
“Playing on the sub-continent is different from playing here at home because spin becomes a key thing‚” he said.
“You must be able to rotate off the spin and also to hit boundaries.
“It is about familiarising yourself with the challenges where the ball will be spinning and you must have a game plan for that.
“I have never been to Sri Lanka but I will try to make it a good one for myself and the team.”
Though he has not played in Sri Lanka‚ Bavuma played one test match in India as opening partner to Dean Elgar in the fourth and final match where he scored 22 and 32 in Delhi as South Africa lost the series 3-0.