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Ken Borland

Sad news for Bavuma fans; doors open for Rossouw

Posted on August 10, 2022 by Ken

There was sad news for Temba Bavuma fans on Wednesday as the batsman was ruled out of the entire tour to England due to an elbow injury, but his misfortune has opened the door for Rilee Rossouw, whom many have said they want to see back in the Green and Gold of the Proteas, to return to the T20 squad.

Bavuma injured his elbow in the fourth T20 against India a fortnight ago, and although Cricket South Africa have not said whether it is a tendon, soft tissue or bone injury, the white-ball captain has been slapped with a lengthy eight-week recovery time.

Rossouw has not played for the Proteas since October 2016, when he suddenly went Kolpak, but he has been in a top-class vein of form for Somerset in the T20 Blast. The 32-year-old has scored the third-most runs (498) at a scintillating strike-rate of 191.53, making him by far the most explosive batsman in the competition. The left-hander has passed fifty six times in his 12 innings.

While Rossouw is an exciting replacement for Bavuma as Quinton de Kock’s opening partner in the T20 team, the captain’s place in the ODI team is likely to be taken by Aiden Markram. The top-order struggled in the shock ODI series loss to Bangladesh at home in March and Markram provides not only a vital sixth bowler but also the potential for dominant strokeplay.

The Proteas have leaned heavily on their spin bowlers in white-ball cricket in recent years, but in their previous Test series, against Bangladesh, they used left-arm orthodox Keshav Maharaj and off-spinner Simon Harmer in tandem with devastating effect. Harmer has learned plenty during his six years of county cricket and has destroyed numerous county batting line-ups, so him and Maharaj operating together, if the conditions warrant it, make sense.

Apart from Bavuma, all-rounder Wiaan Mulder and pacemen Daryn Dupavillon and Lizaad Williams have been ditched from the Test squad that beat Bangladesh, as the IPL stars return.

The T20 and ODI captaincies have been split in Bavuma’s absence, with Maharaj taking the reins in the ODIs and David Miller leading the T20 team, as he did for two matches against Pakistan in 2019.

Kagiso Rabada has been rested for the ODI series, while fellow fast bowler Anrich Nortje will play in all three formats after missing most of last summer due to injury.

Gerald Coetzee, the 21-year-old bowling all-rounder from the Free State Knights, has been chosen in the T20 squad, earning his first Proteas call-up.

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