Proteas assistant coach Enoch Nkwe confident Bavuma will captain SA in the future

15 January 2020 - 09:49
By Alvin Reeves At St Georges Park
Temba Bavuma during a training session ahead of the second International Test Series against England at Newlands Cricket Ground, Cape Town on January 2 2020.
Image: Shaun Roy/BackpagePix Temba Bavuma during a training session ahead of the second International Test Series against England at Newlands Cricket Ground, Cape Town on January 2 2020.

Proteas assistant coach Enoch Nkwe has called for patience when it comes to transformation of the national cricket team‚ adding that Temba Bavuma will lead South Africa in the future.

Speaking to media ahead of third Test against England starting here at St George’s Park in Port Elizabeth on Thursday‚ Nkwe said interim director of cricket Graeme Smith and head coach Mark Boucher were very aware of the need to transform cricket and that planning was afoot backstage.

There has been much heated debate among followers of the game following the omission of Bavuma for the Test series against England.

Nkwe says he understands the frustration‚ adding that transformation is on the agenda of the interim Proteas management structure.

“That (transformation) will come over time.

"We keeping very close with Temba Bavuma for example‚” said Nkwe.

“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‚" he said.

"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 said.

"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.”