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Ken Borland

If Bavuma received any advice as captain it was probably to beware the suits

Posted on February 22, 2022 by Ken

If Temba Bavuma received any advice from his predecessors as Proteas captain it was probably to beware of the suits and the victorious skipper said after their amazing ODI series whitewash of India that one of the hardest parts of his job has been managing the off-field distractions.

The Cricket South Africa board’s antipathy towards their players came to a head on the eve of the ODI series when they charged head coach Mark Boucher with gross misconduct, due to allegations made by the flawed Social Justice and Nation-Building report that more than 20 years ago the record-breaking wicketkeeper sang a team song that contained racial slurs.

This after the Proteas had pulled off a remarkable Test series win over India, knocking them off the No.1 ranking. The tremendous fight the team has been showing, and their clear growth in terms of skills and composure, make it clear that it must be a happy changeroom and a healthy environment. Which is now seemingly under attack from their own board.

“It has not been easy, to be honest,” Bavuma said after completing the 3-0 win with a thrilling four-run win at Newlands. “There have been a lot of dynamics that need to be managed.

“The big thing is to try and keep the cricket as the main focus. It’s been a really challenging time for the players and management, because we’ve been under a lot of scrutiny.

“So I’ve had to manage the conversations we’re having and ensure that our energies are 100% towards performance. It’s been a challenge, but a privilege as well, and I’ve enjoyed it,” Bavuma said.

A dominant batting display by the Proteas, who for so long struggled in that department, saw Bavuma call his fellow batsmen a “revelation”.

“The batting unit has really been a revelation for us. Before we were scoring fifties and sixties and then finding a way to get out. But the coach gave us a challenge to start making hundreds.

“We scored three of them and we now have five guys averaging more than 40 in ODIs, which gives us a lot of confidence. It’s a formidable batting line-up,” Bavuma said.

Apart from topping the Test series averages (73.66), Bavuma also averaged 51 in the ODIs. Clearly the captaincy has agreed with him.

“It seems to have had a knock-on effect in my own performance. I enjoy the thinking side, the tactical side, and maybe that has made me a bit more clearer on what I want to do.

“I’m always thinking about the situations, how to counter, and maybe that’s why my form came back. For me, it means a lot to look back on the series and I know I contributed significantly.

“It makes it even better and to convincingly beat an Indian team of that calibre and pedigree speaks a lot to my captaincy.

“It’s still early days in my captaincy career though, I’ll take the acknowledgement but I definitely won’t get ahead of myself,” Bavuma said.

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    Mark 7:8 – “You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men.”

    Our foundation must be absolute surrender, devotion and obedience to God, rising from pure love for him. Jesus Christ must be central in all things and his will must take precedence over the will of people, regardless of how well-meaning they may be.

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