Temba Bavuma, the first-ever full-time black skipper of South Africa, arrived in India to resurrect his T20 career in a broken-hearted state. He was passed over by every franchise in the brand-new South African T20 league just a few days ago; nobody wanted him.
He came to India while clearly in pain and made hints that he would divulge the deeper reasons later. But it didn’t work out well for him. Finding a more honourable person to serve as a cricket team captain would be difficult, but he ends up failing the group.
Proteas coach Mark Boucher, colleagues like Aiden Markram, and luminaries like AB de Villiers have all offered supportive remarks, with the latter tweeting that Temba is the ideal candidate for the position. There is no better place than the T20 World Cup for him to find his form than at the perfect time.
Bavuma averages 23.54 in T20Is, hit 50 fours and hits 13 sixes. His T20I strike rate is 116.49. In 2022, he only scored 64 runs in seven innings, striking out 82.05. Reeza Hendricks, who wasn’t a candidate earlier this year, is his main competition for a position on the team.
Despite having a meagre 125 overall T20I strike rate and an average of 29, his recent performance has elevated him to consider. His strike rate increased to 161.22 against England, South Africa’s final series before India, and reached 147.22 overall this year. With 22 sixes and 160 fours from 46 T20Is, he obviously outhit Bavuma in terms of boundary striking rate.
Captain Charming versus Red Hot Form Hendricks, who is renowned for his cover drives and short-arm pulls, used to struggle against spin but has recently been successful in finding ways to score runs.
The middle order is crowded with Tristan Stubbs’ ascent, David Miller’s return to form, and Aiden Markram also sporting a respectable appearance. Going into the World Cup hoping that their captain finds his or her form won’t be wise given that South Africa hasn’t won any significant ICC trophies.
It would ultimately come down to this: Will South Africa stick with Hendricks’ form or do they appreciate Bavuma’s leadership enough to take a gamble on him and hope he performs well on Australia’s bouncy tracks?