Bavuma a future leader of Proteas, says Nkwe
Proteas assistant coach Enoch Nkwe has called for patience when it comes to transformation of the national cricket team, saying he believes Temba Bavuma will lead SA in future.
Speaking to media ahead of the third Test against England starting at St George’s Park on Thursday, Nkwe said interim director of cricket Graeme Smith and head coach Mark Boucher were aware of the need to transform cricket and that planning was taking place behind the scenes.
There has been much heated debate among followers of the game after the omission of Bavuma for the Test series against England.
Nkwe said he understood the frustration and that transformation was on the agenda of the interim Proteas management structure.
“That [transformation] will come over time. We are keeping very close with Temba Bavuma, for example,” Nkwe said.
“I really believe that he is a good player.
“He is in the process of making sure that from a mental, emotional and skills point of view that when he gets that opportunity to come back, whether it’s in the next Test match or it’s in a different format, that he takes ownership of his position and he delivers 10 times more than what he has done.
“We are really confident and believe in him and Boucher is the same and the rest of the team.
“At the moment there will always be questions around that.
“All I’m going to ask is that let’s be a little bit more patient.
“We are trying to put a few things in place so that we can shape the right direction.”
Asked if Smith and Boucher really understand transformation, Nkwe said: “I think they do. In the very new future there will be some changes.
“It’s not something that has been ignored.
“I’ve had a small talk with Graeme and he’s truly behind it.
“People might not see it but he really cares and he has processes and plans behind the scenes to ensure there are no further questions around that topic.”
Nkwe said Bavuma, who averages 31.24 in Test cricket, has not had much luck during his 39-Test career.
“If you look at it, let’s be honest, he’s been unlucky.
“There’s been times where I think he’s got 94, 96 or 95 not out or something.
“One big hit and he’s over the line. He was unfortunate.
“There have been times where he got 70, he got 80.
“People tend to forget the situation he has come in for the Proteas.
“They have been challenging and he was able to take the team and put them in a much healthier position.”
Nkwe is also confident Bavuma will come back stronger and captain SA.
“He’s going to do everything in his power that when the next opportunity comes that he’s ready for it.
“He wants to be in this environment.
“Hopefully in the future he performs well enough and he can lead the team.
“Having worked with him, he’s a strong leader, very smart and he’s able to lead a massive group of people to greater heights.”