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Ken Borland

Bavuma wants to open with McCullum, not copy him 0

Posted on October 09, 2017 by Ken


Temba Bavuma would love to open the batting alongside Brendon McCullum in the T20 Global League for the Joburg Giants, but as far as copying the Kiwi’s swashbuckling style goes, that’s not how South Africa’s gutsy middle-order Test batsman goes about his cricket.

Big-hitting marquee players like McCullum, Chris Gayle, AB de Villiers and David Miller will be amongst the star attractions when the league gets underway on November 3, but a team’s success is often decided by how well the batsmen around those stars set up the game for them. Bavuma is able to score boundaries with ‘normal’ cricket shots and is very good at rotating the strike.

“One must understand that there are 11 positions in a cricket team and not all cricketers play the same way, they all bring their own thing to the side. You get the batsmen with x-factor who can clear the boundaries, but then you have the other guys who create the foundation for those batsmen to come in and hit the ball.

“I think that’s the role I’ll play for the Joburg Giants, not trying to emulate Brendon but do what I do, which will allow him and Colin Ingram and Chris Jonker to bat effectively as well. In terms of T20 cricket, I’ve always seen myself as a middle-order batsman and I’ve been relatively successful at that, but I’ll probably play a role up front for the Giants, looking at who we’ve signed.

“I will embrace that and welcome the opportunity because as a batsman you want to be near the top in T20 so that you can bat for the bulk of the overs. I do feel I have the necessary skills to open the batting, but I won’t change my game, I’ll just do what has served me well in the domestic game,” Bavuma said at the Wanderers on Wednesday.

Bavuma is now a Cape Cobras player, but the Joburg Giants have signed him and another local darling in Kagiso Rabada to ensure the people of Johannesburg get behind their team.

“I was born in Cape Town, but everything in terms of cricket happened for me in Johannesburg, so it has a large part of my heart. It will be a massive pleasure to once again represent the people of Johannesburg,” Bavuma said.

Fleming now mentoring Morris 0

Posted on May 23, 2013 by Ken

New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming pulled some wicked stunts on a 25-year-old Graeme Smith when they clashed in a Test series, but then became something of a mentor for the Proteas skipper and the cerebral Kiwi is once again helping the growth of another potential South African star of the same age in Chris Morris.

Spinner Aaron Phangiso may have won the man of the match award for his brilliant two for 17 in four overs when the Highveld Lions beat Fleming’s Chennai Super Kings in the Champions League at Newlands last October, but it was Morris who turned the coach’s head.

Morris took one for 24 in four overs, halting a blazing start to the game by CSK, and also helped seal victory for the Lions with an important 12 not off seven balls at the death, including a massive six.

“I bowled well against Stephen’s team in Cape Town and I also hit a six when I was batting. I then happened to bump into him in a restaurant and spoke to him. He pulled me aside and said he was very impressed with my bowling and said I should keep in touch. It’s funny how things go in cricket … ” Morris told Sapa at the Wanderers on Tuesday.

Three-and-a-half months later, the Super Kings paid a head-spinning $625 000 [R5.5 million] to sign the all-rounder for this year’s Indian Premier League and a dazed Morris can still hardly believe how things have turned out.

“I’m still a bit speechless after going for a price like that and it’s mind-blowing because I modelled my captaincy at school on Stephen Fleming, he was my hero, the ultimate captain with a great cricket brain. And I’ll also be playing alongside people like Mike Hussey, a schoolboy hero of mine too, and Ben Hilfenhaus, who I really enjoy watching bowl,” Morris said.

India is probably not top of the list of places pacemen want to bowl in and the Super Kings are based in Chennai, a particularly spin-friendly venue, so Morris knows the IPL will be hard work.

“I hope I catch a game but it’s going to be a very different environment and pitches, plus there’s the heat. Conditions will be tough but it’s going to be a massive learning experience and a big test of my skills.”

But for now, Morris has to focus on the final cycle of four-day domestic series fixtures, with the Lions needing to beat the Warriors in Port Elizabeth to overcome a 9.66-point deficit behind the Cape Cobras in order to win the title.

Morris has been in top-class form with the ball, taking a superb 26 wickets in five matches at an average of just 16.73 and Lions captain Stephen Cook praised his bowlers for doing “a terrific job”.

“Someone has always stepped up, most of them have 20-odd wickets at a low average. When we played the Warriors in PE in a one-day game, the pitch seamed around a bit, but we have Imran Tahir too if the wicket is low and slow,” Cook said.

The weather has bought some breathing space for the Cobras at the top of the log as the Lions have had two matches washed out in the last three weeks, but coach Geoff Toyana, who has enjoyed considerable success since taking over from Dave Nosworthy at the start of the summer, remains positive his team can still win the trophy.

“The boys are in good spirits, although they are disappointed about the last three weeks, and if we play well enough we might be champions. I trust in the guys that they can do their skills and if we play to our full potential then we can come through,” Toyana said.

The Lions will be at full strength with current internationals Alviro Petersen and Quinton de Kock returning to the line-up and considerably boosting the batting.

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