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Proteas to carry Test series momentum into ODIs – Bavuma

Posted on February 11, 2022 by Ken

South Africa have not played a completed ODI in four months but captain Temba Bavuma says his team is going to carry the momentum from their Test series win over India into the 50-over matches that start in Paarl on Wednesday.

The Proteas, fielding a second-string side, had a washed out ODI against the Netherlands at the end of November, but before that their last proper action was a 2-1 series loss to Sri Lanka in Colombo at the beginning of September.

But confidence is running high in the Proteas camp after their tremendous Test series triumph over India, in which Bavuma played a key role with his second-innings heroics.

“Momentum is a real thing and in the Wanderers Test we managed to get some,” Bavuma said on Tuesday. “So we will lean on that, although it’s obviously a different format with different skill sets and pressures.

“There’s always going to be pressure, whether we played ODI cricket last month or not. We’re coming up against a very strong outfit and hopefully that inspires us to bring our best cricket.

“We need to make sure we pitch up and do what we need to do. We played a lot of T20 cricket last year and in one-day cricket we accept that there are improvements we need to make.

“This series is the perfect opportunity, against a very strong outfit, to test ourselves and see how our game needs to improve and whether we have the right personnel because the road to the 2023 World Cup has started,” Bavuma said.

In terms of selection, the skipper said the first thing he will look for is bowling options, making it likely that part-time off-spinner Aiden Markram will play. But he will not be opening the batting.

“As captain, I always like as many bowling resources I can get on the bowling front,” Bavuma explained. “You accept that one of your bowlers is not going to hit their straps on the day, and then to have a replacement is a luxury.

“I would like as many bowling options as I can get, considering the balance of the team. But Quinton de Kock and Janneman Malan have done well up front, so I don’t see a change there and I come into the picture at No.3.

“But the middle-order is where the real conversation is – do we play another all-rounder at No.6 or a specialist batsman?

“Considering the Paarl conditions – the bounce is lower and more skiddy – we need pace bowlers who can exploit that with the new ball and it’s quite friendly to the slower bowlers,” Bavuma said.

Kagiso Rabada has been released from the team for the series due to high workloads over a sustained period of time and the need for him to recover before the Test tour to New Zealand in February.

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