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Temba Bavuma wants Proteas to stay positive in Bloemfontein

Temba Bavuma in action in the field

Temba Bavuma says the Proteas won’t be chaning things ahead of the first ODI against Australia. Photo: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)

Published Sep 7, 2023


Captain Temba Bavuma says the Proteas will build on how they have been playing all year long, despite the different threat Australia possess in relation to England, West Indies and Netherlands.

The brand of cricket has already been decided upon and all that’s left to do is to keep testing it out so that when it’s time to deliver at the World Cup, the Proteas have something to fall back on.

Bavuma is adamant that the South Africans’ newly adopted positive brand of cricket is the way to go, even against the mighty Australians.

“There won’t be anything different in how we’ve been playing all year,” said Bavuma.

“We spoke a lot when we played England (in February) in terms of how we wanted to play and I think we have achieved that.

“We did see how Australia played in the T20Is, it’s a matter of having plans for how they play. But most importantly, we will keep playing how we have been playing all year.”

The first ODI is in Bloemfontein this afternoon (1pm) and the Mangaung Oval will pose a different challenge, seeing that it is one of the bigger stadiums in the country.

But the captain fancies his team’s chances despite the big boundaries and having beaten England at the same venue earlier this year, his belief and confidence is warranted.

“We have had a look at the wicket. It’s a bit tricky for us to determine how the wicket will play but generally here in Bloem, it’s a good wicket. We’re going to have to assess tomorrow and try to adapt on what is in front of us,” said Bavuma.

“As much as Bloem is a big ground, I think with all the cricket the guys play in T20s, it seems as if no ground is really big for the guys to clear the boundaries. There’s definitely a lot of twos and threes to be run.”

Coming from a T20I series whitewash at the hands of the Australians last week, Bavuma will welcome the likes of Kagiso Rabada, David Miller and Quinton de

Kock to his ODI side for what will undoubtedly be a closely contested series.

As much as the return of these experienced players strengthens the team, questions still remain as to whether they will hit the ground running, having not played together as a team since the Netherlands series last summer.

“Yes, as a team we haven’t played in a while but the responsibility is still there as professional cricketers to still maintain our standards but most importantly our intensity,” said Bavuma.

“We’ve reminded ourselves of all the good moments that we’ve had this year as a team.

“The challenge is for us to go out there and match all those performances, the intensity and the style of play we’ve gone out to play as a team.”*