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Temba Bavuma wants to improve his communication in order to be a better captain

FILE - Proteas captain Temba Bavuma. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

FILE - Proteas captain Temba Bavuma. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Published May 18, 2022

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Johannesburg — With two World Cup tournaments on the horizon, Temba Bavuma has claimed that the area of his captaincy that will get greater attention in the next few months is communication.

Bavuma has led South Africa on 26 occasions across the T20 and One-Day formats since being named skipper in March last year, with the majority of his success achieved in the shortest version. South Africa has won 10 T20 Internationals out of the 13 in which Bavuma was captain, including a series win in the West Indies and a run in the T20 World Cup where they lost just once although they still missed out on the semifinals in that competition in the UAE.

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“I’ve done it for just over a year and I think there’s been relative success in that period. There have been different challenges, there are lessons that I learned in every series and I’m still trying to learn. I rely a lot on the guys around me, having played with them and understanding me as a person. I’m trying to set the players up to succeed.”

He has made better communication a priority over the next few months, with South Africa starting to look ahead to the T20 World Cup in Australia in October and then the prospect of the 50 over World Cup in India next year although that is subject to the team qualifying first.

“Without communication it's very hard to articulate your vision, it's very hard to get the guys on your side. And that communication is not just verbal, it’s also your attitude and the actions you take, that is something I’d like to focus a little bit more on going into next season.”

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The ODI series defeat against Bangladesh in March still rankles with Bavuma saying it remains “hard to accept.” It left the Proteas in grave danger of missing out on an automatic qualifying spot for the the 50-over World Cup, and the distinct possibility exists that the side may have to play a pre qualifying event, to earn its place in the tournament.

As for his own batting, Bavuma explained that he was pleased with progress he made last summer in the Test arena. He averaged 46.81 in seven matches, scoring four half-centuries, although a second Test hundred still eludes him. “I’m obviously one of the senior guys within the team and with the team going through this period of transition for however long that is going to be, we need the older guys to step up and take more responsibility,” he said.

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“My confidence has grown series by series. I don’t think I’ve reached where I’d like to be, but I’m happy with the upward trajectory that it seems to be going in.”

Two of those four fifties came in that bruising series against India, with Bavuma making tough runs as South Africa came from behind to upset Virat Kohli’s side. With a drawn series in New Zealand, where the Proteas also lost the first Test after spending 10 days in isolation, the Test team is feeling good about itself ahead of what will be a very busy year with series’s in England and Australia.

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Bavuma, who’s not looked at his bat in a month, will start preparations next week for the T20 tour to India in June. “It is exhausting (just thinking about it), the schedule is chockablock,” he said. “I hope I’m doing enough fitness work to make sure the body is strong enough to survive next season. But it's exciting, for us as players, for the fans, these are massive tours ahead; India, England and Australia and as a young team those are challenges we have to overcome to get to where we want to be - it's exciting.”

@shockerhess

IOL Sport

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