Titans assistant coach Geoffrey Toyana says Temba Bavuma showed his “strong character” by scoring a century against England in Bloemfontein on Sunday.
Bavuma made 109 off 102 balls as the Proteas chased down England’s 342-7 with five balls to spare in the second ODI.
The 32-year-old batsman had come into the series under pressure after a poor run in T20I cricket last year, which saw him snubbed at the SA20 auction.
Bavuma took a break during the franchise tournament that he said helped him to prepare mentally for England.
READ: Bavuma sends ‘reminder’ to critics
Toyana told News24 Sport the fact that Bavuma hadn’t played in the SA20 made his century even more impressive.
“It has shown what a strong character he is because sitting at home watching the tournament that he should be playing in must have been tough.
“I just roll my eyes and ask why this world-class player is not part of this tournament in his home country.
“I wouldn’t want to say he’s shut down some haters, no. He’s got nothing to prove to anybody because he’s a good cricketer, and we all know that.”
While Bavuma has failed to make an impact in T20I cricket, his ODI statistics are impressive. He has scored 875 runs in 21 innings – including three hundreds and two fifties – at an average of 46.05 and a strike rate of 85.86.
As a result, Toyana expects him to retain the ODI captaincy under new limited-overs coach Rob Walter and lead the team at the World Cup in India later this year.
“I hope that Temba has shown him [Walter] something in this series against the world champions. These are the world champions.
“I’m just glad that he’s got the backing of Cricket South Africa and the coaching staff with Shukri [Conrad] in there as well.”