CAPE TOWN - There are many changes taking place in Temba Bavuma’s life at the moment. He is back in Cape Town and preparing to join his new team, the Cape Cobras, on a pre-season tour, while he will also have a new Proteas coach after Ottis Gibson replaced Russell Domingo last month.
While all of this might faze some individuals, Bavuma is relishing the fresh challenges.
“I haven’t met him (Gibson) as the coach. I have spoken to him once or twice when he was still part of the England set-up. But that’s something to look forward to, what flavour he brings to the team. There is always something exciting about the unknown. Hopefully a few good things to come,” Bavuma said.
“Starting with the Cobras is also really nice. I grew up coming to Newlands, having gone to school just down the road (at Sacs junior), so I have always wanted to wear the blue cap and it is great to get the opportunity this early in the season.”
The former Langa resident will start his preparation for the new summer with two two-day warm-up games against the Warriors in Oudtshoorn. It is important preparation for Bavuma as the Proteas have a hectic Test schedule this summer, with Bangladesh on the horizon later this month, before India and Australia arrive to do battle.
It is certainly shaping up to be a big couple of months for Bavuma. One of Gibson’s first tasks as Proteas coach will be to settle on a position for Bavuma in the Proteas Test batting line-up.
The former Highveld Lions star has opened the innings, been utilised in the middle-order, and even been pushed up to the prime No 4 spot in the recent series against England.
This rotation has not been beneficial to Bavuma’s Test career thus far, with the 27-year-old primarily prospering when the Proteas have required a rearguard effort after a top-order collapse.
These innings carry great value in the Proteas dressing room, but the movement around the order has not allowed Bavuma to settle into a specific role.
With Gibson set to add a fresh perspective to the environment, and Bavuma also accepting that he needs to take greater responsibility in converting all his solid starts, he may just be able to add to that maiden Test century scored at Newlands two years ago.
“I’ll bat anywhere to be honest. Obviously, number four is the blue chip position in any batting line-up. I can only appreciate the fact that the guys see the potential in me to fulfil that position. I am not too sure how it’s going to work against Bangladesh,” Bavuma said.
“But I will probably find myself somewhere in the middle-order. I need to stop scoring these 30s and 40s. I need to get a big score for the team.
“There are a few gremlins in my game which I need to sort, but if the opportunity does come my way I would like to think I would be in a position to capitalise on it.”