Former South African prolific run-scorer, Hashim Amla, thinks that Temba Bavuma needs to bat higher up the order now that wicket-keeper batter, Quinton de Kock, has retired from Test cricket with immediate effect.
De Kock played his final game against India last week which South Africa lost by 113 runs. With an eye on spending more time with his family and focus on the white-ball formats instead, de Kock retired from the format altogether.
“Our two best batters in the middle are Temba (Bavuma) and Quinton. Now that Quinton has opted out of Test cricket, this cripples the batting line-up further and, now more than ever, it makes it imperative for Temba to bat higher – be it three or four, allow him time to play a solidifying role as opposed to a recovery one.”
“There’s certainly a way back, but it’s going to take laser-like focus for extended periods and a touch a fortune. (Captain) Dean (Elgar) and Aiden (Markram) are class players with a pedigree for hundreds and, if they get momentum, it would certainly ease the nerves and give much-needed confidence for the younger guys,” Amla was quoted as saying by Sport24.
Being 130 runs behind is what really hurt them – Hashim Amla
Hashim Amla pointed out that the first Test was lost the moment India managed to get past the 300-run mark. It further worsened for the hosts when they ended up conceding a 130-run lead courtesy of India‘s far superior pace attack.
“It was a fair result. Centurion is notorious for becoming more difficult to bat as the days progress.So once India won the toss, batted and scored in excess of 300, it was game on for the Protea batters to match that score at the very least. Being 130 runs behind is what really hurt them, and it ended up being the difference,” Amla added.
The second Test begins on January 3 at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg.