Temba Bavuma says he is still considering whether to continue as captain of the Proteas’ T20I team.
Bavuma was speaking after his side crashed out of the T20 World Cup with a shock 13-run defeat to the Netherlands in Adelaide on Sunday.
The No 3-ranked Proteas had to beat the No 17-ranked Dutch to qualify for the semi-finals.
“It’s been a tricky time. I think to consider it now, a lot of it would be emotional in terms of my role as captain of the team,” Bavuma told reporters.
“It’s something I probably will think about and I’ll speak to the relevant people and we’ll see who comes in as the coach [to replace Mark Boucher].
“Generally, when you have changes like that, they come in with a different and own style, and they might find a different leader to execute their vision and style of play they have.
“It would be emotional if I thought about it now. Whatever happens, I think I’ve carried myself with dignity through all the good and bad times. If I were to leave, I’ll leave with my pride intact.”
Bavuma’s place in the Proteas XI was a topic of debate throughout the T20 World Cup, due his poor form with the bat and the fact he was selected ahead of the in-form Reeza Hendricks, who spent the entire tournament on the bench.
On Sunday, Bavuma scored a run-a-ball 20 to take his tally for the tournament to 70 in five matches, at an average of 17.50 and a strike rate 112.90.
In 12 matches this year in the shortest format, he scored 134 runs at an average of 13.40 and a strike rate of 95.71.
The 32-year-old said the criticism had taken a toll.
“Mentally, it hits at you as a player, you try and manage your mental space as much as you can.
“You try and control what gets to you, but unfortunately, with social media and what people say to you, it will always get to you. I always try to keep a level head through all the good and bad times.
“I’m just trying to be as close to myself as possible. Not only for myself but for the team, I know we’re going to take a lot of flak and rightly so. But we’re going to have to find a way to bounce back, I’m going to have to find a way too.
“We’ll try and get back to the good old days like they say.”
However, Bavuma admitted the Proteas wouldn’t be able to rid themselves of the “chokers” tag until they won a World Cup.
“I think it will always be there until we find ourselves in a situation where we get to the final and we actually come out on the right side of that result. We have nothing to blame. Everything was in our hands.
“It is disappointing for all of us. The most disappointing thing was that we didn’t get over the line when we had to. And when it mattered we could not do the business. We will still carry that monkey on our backs.”