Proteas selection convener Victor Mpitsang has explained why Temba Bavuma was picked ahead of Reeza Hendricks throughout the T20 World Cup.
Bavuma struggled as a batsman in the tournament, scoring 70 runs 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 made 134 runs at an average of 13.40 and a strike rate of 95.71.
In contrast, Hendricks scored 323 runs in seven innings this year at an average of 46.14 and a strike rate of 139.82. In his last five T20I innings, he made 57, 53, 70, 74 and 42.
Yet, despite being in the form of his life, Hendricks spent South Africa’s entire T20 World Cup campaign on the bench as Mpitsang and coach Mark Boucher continued to back Bavuma.
Mpitsang explained that Bavuma kept his place in the team because he was the captain.
“Yes, we would have liked Temba to have contributed a little bit more [with the bat], but the role that he plays on the field as a leader is just as big.
“So it’s unfortunate for Reeza to have missed out, but those were the calls we had to make.”