Temba Bavuma, South Africa‘s limited-overs captain, said that side is far from having their combinations nailed down for the approaching T20 World Cup. After the loss to West Indies in the 4th T20I, he said that there are a couple of glaring positions they are yet to finalize on.
The first one is Quinton de Kock’s opening partner; it has been a strange choice that South Africa played with three openers other than de Kock in the ongoing T20I series against West Indies. Reeza Hendricks opened alongside de Kock, with Temba Bavuma himself, who started as a T20I opener, batting at 3, followed by Aiden Markram, another opener batting at 4.
Hendricks has had mixed returns so far – 17, 42, 17, 2 – and hasn’t been able to make the opening spot his yet. Janneman Malan is another option for the top-order spot. Now, this top-order combination hasn’t allowed them to play Heinrich Klaasen in the middle-order, leaving David Miller with little power support down the order.
“In terms of combinations, we are looking at who can partner Quinny at the top. Reeza (Hendricks) is the guy at the moment and we believe he has done it well. David (Miller) is our seasoned finisher. He has done it for many years but unfortunately at the moment he is battling with form, as are a number of batters,” Temba Bavuma said after defeat in the fourth T20I.
From a bowling front, the sixth-bowler we haven’t nailed down: Temba Bavuma
Temba Bavuma used Aiden Markram as a sixth bowler in the 4th T20I – a move that heavily backfired as the part-time off-spinner conceded 20 runs in the very first over the game itself.
The 31-year-old new skipper’s second concern is the sixth bowling option; he underlined that they haven’t played a seaming allrounder yet in this series because of the conditions and that it would come into the mix in their later matches. Wiaan Mulder and Andile Phehlukwayo have been on the bench so far.
“I’m sure a seaming allrounder will come back into the mix. Where we find ourselves at the moment is that we are looking for someone who can effectively play that sixth bowling role. If you look at a guy like Aiden (Markram), he gives you more than just the bowling option.
“He is someone we see as versatile in terms of his batting position. He can bat at the top as well as batting in the middle and he has been given that opportunity now, albeit in tough conditions. From a bowling front, that (the sixth-bowler) we haven’t nailed down,” Temba Bavuma further added.