Proteas coach Mark Boucher asks fans to give new captain Temba Bavuma time to find his feet

Mahlatse Mphahlele Sports reporter
Mark Boucher is calling on fans to give new Proteas limited overs captain Temba Bavuma time.
Mark Boucher is calling on fans to give new Proteas limited overs captain Temba Bavuma time.
Image: Stu Forster/Getty Images

Proteas coach Mark Boucher has pleaded with fans to give middle order batsman Temba Bavuma time to find his feet as the new limited overs captain.

Bavuma‚ who is also an important member of the Test side‚ was appointed skipper last month to lead South Africa to the T20 World Cups in 2021 and 2022‚ and the ODI World Cup in 2023.

The Bavuma era begins with the first of three ODIs against Pakistan at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Friday where he will be looking to start his tenure with victory.

“We have to give Temba some time to find his feet‚ I think that’s only fair‚” said Boucher.

“It was a big choice to make and I am very happy with the way things have gone at the moment. Preparations have been fantastic and the way he has spoken to the guys is fantastic. He is a nice guy and it’s not going to be difficult to form relationships with players.

“Let’s give him some time to find his feet.

"These are exciting times for him and for us as well going into his first series as captain. We are all looking forward to it‚ we have had some good team chats and last night we revisited our value systems and it is exciting times ahead.”

The return of Aiden Markram to the ODI squad means adjustments to the batting order and Boucher has indicated that the Test opener will also open the batting in the ODI side with Bavuma moving to number three.

“Temba will probably bat at number three and with regards to Aiden‚ you will probably see him going up front rather than bat at three or four. If you ask whether he can bat at number three or four in the future‚ the answer is yes because he is one of those players. So‚ you will probably see Aiden bat up front with Temba at three.

“We have had meetings to pick a squad and we feel it is going to be in line with selections going to the World Cup in 2023. Along the line we want to win matches‚ which is important‚ and we are prepared to juggle around to see where the balance is going.”

Usually there is not much cricket in South Africa in April but Boucher said the wicket at SuperSport Park and the Wanderers looks good.

“From my experience having been up here in the Highveld as coach of the Titans‚ the colder it gets the slower the wickets gets. Having said that‚ the wicket look pretty good because there hasn’t been a lot of cricket played this season.

“So‚ the wicket will probably be a little bit fresher than it would normally be at this time of the season. I am expecting the wickets to still be good but a little bit slower. A couple of guys have picked up a bit of flu with the change of season. Usually around his time it is very hot during the day but it does get chilly at night.”