Temba Bavuma, who will captain the South Africa A side in the one-day games, sees the A tour as an excellent opportunity to acclimatise to sub-continental conditions. Photo: Reuters

JOHANNESBURG – Temba Bavuma, the newly appointed vice-captain of the Proteas Test team, is keen on using his experience in the South Africa A side as preparation for the challenging main tour of India that begins on September 15.

The SA A team are set to play five one-day matches, followed by two four-day games, with the first one-day game on Thursday in Thiruvananthapuram, in the state of Kerala.

Bavuma, who will captain the A side in the one-day games, sees the A tour as an excellent opportunity to acclimatise to sub-continental conditions.

“It is always nice to test yourself in foreign conditions like in the sub-continent. Obviously we want to get more game-time in conditions we are not used to. It is important to make runs and pick up wickets in such conditions, which will be good for us,” he told Indian newspaper The Hindu.

Bavuma, 29, who made his Test debut in 2014, has been a regular in the side in the last two years.

He has represented South Africa in two One-Day Internationals and 36 Tests, and has scored over 1 800 international runs.

“As a batter, you are always greedy and would want more runs and centuries against your name. I am enjoying my journey as a Test cricketer, and am always trying to improve,” he said.

With the retirement of Hashim Amla, he believes that it comes down to the youngsters and those like him to step up.

“It is difficult for any team in the world to fill the void left behind by Amla’s retirement. It is up to guys like me who have been playing Test cricket regularly for the last two years to step in and try to make it count,” he said.

The middle-order batsman knows it will not be easy to face a tough side like India. “Obviously any team will want to play well in India, which has got a quality side,” said Bavuma.

“As batsmen, we like to challenge ourselves against bowlers like (Jasprit) Bumrah, (Ravindra) Jadeja and (Ravichandran) Ashwin.

“And it will also be a challenge to bowl to world-class batsmen like (Virat) Kohli, (Cheteshwar) Pujara and others in the sub-continental pitches. More than individual performances, we will have to play well as a team in the upcoming tour.”

South Africa will play India in three T20 Internationals, followed by three Tests from September 15 to October 23.

African News Agency (ANA)