Is Temba Bavuma, Rassie van der Dussen’s inclusion in Australia T20 squad a Stroke of genius from Rob Walter?

Proteas captain Temba Bavuma needs game time ahead of the Cricket World Cup in October. Photo: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)

Proteas captain Temba Bavuma needs game time ahead of the Cricket World Cup in October. Photo: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)

Published Aug 19, 2023


With Quinton de Kock missing out, there is more to Temba Bavuma and Rassie van der Dussen’s inclusions in the T20I squad that will face Australia later this month than meets the eye.

The Proteas T20I squad set to face the Mitchell Marsh-led Australia was mostly met with excitement by fans in the country.

This was largely due to the addition of a number of youngsters, including Dewald Brevis, Matthew Breetzke and Donovan Ferreira.

Worldwide, many fans have called for Brevis, in particular, to get a national call-up because of his exciting talent.

Ferreira has an inspirational story where he resigned his full-time job when he was awarded a contract by the Titans in Centurion. Since then, Ferreira has been a part of the SA20, the Indian Premier League and now the Caribbean Premier League.

Breetzke has dominated domestic cricket, and thus his selection was met with delight by fans.

For some players in the squad, namely Bavuma and Van der Dussen, it cannot be said their inclusion in the squad has made the fans happy.

But it is important to note what coach Rob Walter might have been taken into account in his decision to include the two batters.

Following the announcement of the squad, coach Walter mentioned that Bavuma and Van der Dussen were always in his plans.

Walter felt both players had made the necessary improvements in their games to warrant a spot in the squad.

The two players’ experience and leadership qualities are necessary in a squad filled with potential, but lacking experience.

It makes sense to believe that Brevis, Ferreira and Breetzke stand to gain a lot by spending time in the same squad as Bavuma and Van der Dussen, let alone the value they would get with time spent out in the middle with the former Proteas T20I captain.

It is very easy to make the mistake of throwing youngsters into the deep end and expecting them to succeed right away.

In that case, if things were to go south, it’s worth remembering most youngsters are never able to make a comeback following a failure at international cricket.

But with experienced heads around them, the nerves of an international debut get easier to handle.

In fact, it is a stroke of genius from coach Walter to include Bavuma and Van der Dussen in a squad with so many youngsters because it is in the best interest of those newcomers and the future of South African cricket.

Bavuma has not played competitive cricket since the Netherlands series, while Van der Dussen missed out on the IPL and only played a T20 tournament in Canada. Therefore, the pair need time out in the middle, especially with the 50-over World Cup six weeks away.