SA knows what it has in Bavuma but it's yet to see the best of him

South Africa's senior men's national team middle order batsman Temba Bavuma has returned to Johannesburg to re-join the Highveld Lions after spending a single season in the Western Cape playing for the Cape Cobras.
South Africa's senior men's national team middle order batsman Temba Bavuma has returned to Johannesburg to re-join the Highveld Lions after spending a single season in the Western Cape playing for the Cape Cobras.
Image: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Temba Bavuma may be the son of the Langa soil but the recent fourth Test against Australia served as a reminder of where he's truly home as a cricketer.

It is at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg where he belongs as a first-class and Test match cricketer as Bavuma returns to the Highveld Lions after what can only be termed as a season's sabbatical with the Cape Cobras.

When he graced South Africa's most raucous Test ground with a gutsy and enthralling unbeaten 95 that deserved to be converted into a second Test ton‚ there was an air of serenity and homeliness in the manner in which he went about his business.

That specific innings examined Bavuma in every sense possible from a cricket perspective but the patience displayed against Australia's crack bowling unit was of a man who intimately understood his surroundings and how they need to be navigated before the mist lifted.

Bavuma's only Test ton may have come against England in Cape Town just over two years ago but the cricket gods were astute in their timing.

South Africa most picturesque cricket ground in Bavuma's birth-place simply had to be the venue for Bavuma's first Test 100.

The stars were aligned in that manner but Bavuma has always seemingly been at home at the Wanderers and when the yearning for home comes‚ it is a difficult one to ignore.

With the Lions also going to have a new coach with Geoffrey Toyana having vacated the position‚ Bavuma will go into a new dressing room with a fresh coaching setup and most probably‚ a new direction that the team will chart.

Because of Bavuma being contracted to the national team‚ the Lions don't have to deal with his salary but that applies for all the franchises who have nationally contracted players.

While he may not be available for every domestic engagement because of his international commitments‚ the Lions were short of runs last season even though Hendrik “Rassie” van der Dussen finally started to realise the immense potential he showed in his junior years.

Maybe Bavuma needed a break from Johannesburg and it's unending hustle and bustle but if he warms up to Johannesburg and the Lions like he did in during the Australia Test‚ it could be the start of the best of times.

South Africa knows what it has in Bavuma but it's yet to see the best of him.

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