Assistant coach Enoch Nkwe has reiterated the Proteas’ belief and confidence in batsman Temba Bavuma’s ability at Test level.
Bavuma was dropped for the second Test against England at Newlands in Cape Town earlier this month. He played for the Lions in the 4-Day Domestic Series and fell for just nine.
The right-hander has been retained in the squad, but won’t necessarily return to the XI for this week’s third Test at St George’s Park in Port Elizabeth.
‘We’re keeping very close with Temba. I strongly believe he’s a good player, and he’s in the process of making sure that – from a mental, emotional and skills point of view – when he gets an opportunity to come back, whether it’s in the next Test match or in a different format, he takes ownership of his position and does 10 times more than what he has done,’ Nkwe told ESPNcricinfo.
‘We’re confident and believe in him. Head coach Mark Boucher is the same, and the rest of the team. All I’m going to ask is that we are more patient. We’re trying to put a few things in place so that we can shape things in the right direction.’
The 29-year-old Bavuma has been earmarked as a potential successor to Test captain Faf du Plessis. Bavuma has captained the Lions in franchise cricket. He also led the Jozi Stars in the 2019 Mzansi Super League.
‘In my mind, yes. I can see that happening. But he does understand that he needs to put in some performances. The future could be in a year’s time, it could be in two years’ time, we don’t know,’ added Nkwe.
‘Having worked with him in the last year and a half, he has got the qualities, there’s no question around that. I wouldn’t be surprised if, after Faf, he takes over. That will be great for South African cricket.’
The third Test starts on Thursday. The Wanderers in Johannesburg will host the fourth and final Test later this month.
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