Temba Bavuma addressed the non-selection of Reeza Hendricks during the T20 World Cup after the Proteas arrived back from Australia.
An out-of-form Bavuma was backed by the Proteas selectors to open the batting with Quinton de Kock throughout their campaign, which meant the in-form Hendricks played no part in the tournament.
Hendricks has scored 57, 53, 70, 74 and 42 in his last five T20I innings.
In contrast, Bavuma made two ducks and three in the T20I series in India, before scoring 70 runs in five matches at the T20 World Cup at an average of 17.50 and a strike rate of 112.90.
Upon the team’s arrival in Joburg on Wednesday, Bavuma said there had been some robust selection meetings during the T20 World Cup but didn’t mention any player names.
“In terms of strategy, those conversations happen pretty much every game. I think as you would have seen, we select the team based on conditions,” he said.
“In terms of form, it is the World Cup and you are always going to show confidence to guys who you feel are your best XI, and that’s exactly what we did.
“There might have been players who weren’t on form but you still have to show faith and confidence in those guys that they can still put in match-winning performances.”
Interestingly, Bavuma suggested that keeping Hendricks sidelined was partly to avoid putting him under undue pressure.
“The last thing you want at a World Cup is giving someone a place who doesn’t have the type of experience or someone who hasn’t come across the emotions of the World Cup and expect him to do the business for the team,” he said.
Meanwhile, CSA director of cricket Enoch Nkwe said he did not get involved in team selection.
“We have people that are in charge of selection and I leave it to them.
“Any interference from my side would just be wrong. They obviously looked at the strategy, what was going to work best on the day and picked the XI.
“At the end of the day, it’s the call of the coach and selection panel and I trust them to make the right call in terms of what is going to be the best XI to represent our country.
“It’s never easy for someone like Reeza, or any other players who aren’t playing regularly for their national team. But I’m sure there will be opportunities down the line,” he added.