Proteas coach Mark Boucher has backed Temba Bavuma to find form at the T20 World Cup while Reeza Hendricks sits on the sidelines.
South Africa’s white-ball captain came into the tournament after scoring two ducks and three in the T20I series against India. He was “rested” for the first World Cup warm-up match against New Zealand, with the second, against Bangladesh, being rained out.
In the Proteas’ opening World Cup match against Zimbabwe on Tuesday, Bavuma scored two not out off two balls, with Quinton de Kock hitting an unbeaten 47 off 18 balls at the other end.
South Africa were 51-0 after three overs, needing just 13 more runs to win off another four overs, when rain ended the match.
Since returning from an elbow injury, Bavuma has been selected ahead of Hendricks, who is in the form of his life having made 57, 53, 70, 74 and 42 in his past five T20I innings. He also made 74 in the first ODI against India.
“It’s tough,” Boucher admitted when asked about Hendricks’ omission. “Temba has come in in his place. Temba was injured, and he owned that spot, and he is the captain. He hasn’t been in great form, but he also got sick in India, where we wanted him to have a bit of game time.
“I think these conditions suit his game a lot better as well, so hopefully he can get some good time.
“Today, he was out in the middle for quite some time but didn’t face too many balls. He has been batting really well in the nets, so hopefully he finds some good form. I think these conditions suit him nicely.
“It is tough, not only on him [Hendricks], but there are other players in the 15 that are sitting on the side of the field,” Boucher added.
“That’s the strength of our unit right now. We’ve got some good depth and some good options. Going forward, if guys maybe get injured or lose a bit of form, we’ve got guys to back them up.”