Bavuma pragmatic over Proteas' exciting brand of cricket

Bavuma pragmatic over Proteas' exciting brand of cricket

Proteas Test and One-Day International captain Temba Bavuma believes they have made great strides under new coaches Shukri Conrad and Rob Walter who instilled a new approach to their game.

South Africa's batting woes have seemingly improved since the appointments of Conrad in the red-ball format and Walter in the white-ball in the various series against England and West Indies on home soil. 

Both coaches expressed a desire to see a more positive approach to the game.  This was evident with Bavuma bagging a century in each of the last three series across Test and ODI formats, while Aiden Markram and Heinrich Klaasen also enjoyed special knocks.

While the skipper believes they are on the right track, he refuses to declare the transition a success just yet.

"I'd like to think we've taken a couple of more steps towards what 'perfect' would kind of look like. Obviously, we know there's still a learning process we still have to go through. We're going to come up against different opposition in different conditions which we will have to adapt to. 

“But I think what we showed in the last two games, in this West Indies series, and including the three games that we played against England, I think we've gone a long way in really refining, and building our confidence around our brand. 

“We've been speaking about how we'd like to play, there had been moments before, but when a guy [Klassen] goes and plays like that, it really builds that belief and confidence. It also builds the trust and belief of people who are watching us as a team", Bavuma told the media following South Africa’s four-wicket victory over the West Indies to level the three-match series in Potchefstroom on Tuesday. 

The two nations shared the trophy after the WIndies won the second match, and the first was abandoned due to rain. 

The ODI series against West Indies succeeded in introducing new talent into the setup, with Ryan Rickleton, Tony de Zorzi, Gerald Coetzee and Tristan Stubbs given a taste of international 50-over cricket. Bavuma, who did not feature in the third ODI as a precaution, is convinced the widening of the selection pool also aids the team's growth.

"This West Indies series we really used it as an opportunity to give some guys some opportunities. I believe we've achieved what we wanted to achieve, and we've seen where guys can fit in within our bigger plan.”

The real litmus test, however, will come when South Africa face the Netherlands in two must-win ODIs next weekend, to try and book their places at the World Cup in India later this year.