‘Nothing amiss between me and Dean Elgar,’ says Temba Bavuma as he takes over Proteas Test captaincy

Mahlatse Mphahlele Sports reporter
Batter Temba Bavuma will start his tenure as Proteas captain in the first Test match against the West Indies next week.
Batter Temba Bavuma will start his tenure as Proteas captain in the first Test match against the West Indies next week.

Proteas Test captain Temba Bavuma has clarified there is nothing “amiss” in his relationship with Dean Elgar.

Bavuma recently took over the captaincy from Elgar as part of restructuring by Cricket South Africa (CSA) leading to strong speculation the move may cause friction between the two players.

Part of CSA’s restructuring has also seen Shukri Conrad take over as Test coach and Rob Walter put in charge of the limited overs sides with the Proteas taking a different direction in the future.

The first of two Test matches against the West Indies at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Tuesday is Bavuma’s first assignment in the role.

“The question about my relationship with Dean, I think it’s a bit of a naughty one because there is nothing amiss and there is nothing wrong in my relationship with Dean,” he said as the Proteas prepared for the match against the West Indies.

“Dean and I have always been good teammates and I have always looked up to him as a senior player. He helped me to settle within the team and I don’t see how things can change with whatever changes have been made from a leadership point of view.

“I have had discussions with Dean and there is nothing between me and Dean that anybody needs to be worried or concerned about.”

Bavuma is no stranger to Proteas captaincy having led the team in white ball cricket and he understands there is going to pressure captaining the Test side.

“Pressure that comes with Test captaincy, I don’t know what type is going to be but I have been in international cricket for a number of years and all I know is pressure. In Test cricket it is different and I guess it is something that I will have to experience and take along my journey.”

Bavuma added the responsibility of leading the Proteas in the longest format is special.

“First and foremost the dream was always to play Test cricket, I have lived the dream but the opportunity of leading the team is a lot more special. It means a lot to me, to my family and people who have supported and have been with me on this journey. It is a special one.”

Bavuma explained that he had discussions with Conrad before accepting the responsibility to lead the team.

“Communication came from Shukri, we had a conversation and he explained to me where he would like to take the team and he wanted me to be the guy to take the team to those heights and fulfil that vision.

“I had certain questions that I wanted to ask him to understand why he chose me for the role and I was satisfied with what he said to me.”

Bavuma also indicated he had been considering stepping down as T20 captain.

“I was always going to consider my role when it comes to the white ball stuff probably in the best interest of the team and everyone involved. I was always going to make that decision and it was just a matter of when. But there was no urgency from my side in terms of coming out and saying I am stepping down as T20 captain.”

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