'It's always been about the team' - Temba Bavuma clears his stance on white-ball captaincy

Bavuma said he would step down from captaincy if the new coaching staff wishes to see a change.

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Temba Bavuma
Temba Bavuma (Photo Source: Twitter)

Experts and pundits have been very critical of South Africa’s white-ball skipper Temba Bavuma and questions have been raised on not just his form with the bat, but also his leadership capabilities. While there are many who feel Bavuma should give up his captaincy, the 32-year-old will continue serving as the team’s captain for as long as his teammates and the management want him to.

After South Africa was knocked out by the Netherlands from the T20 World Cup 2022 in November, Bavuma stated he would not make a snap decision regarding his role as a leader. Bavuma has had conversations regarding the same with the right people, which helped him get to a firm decision as he revealed that he stays committed to his role as the team’s skipper.

“At the T20 World Cup, the question [about captaincy] was asked. It was obviously quite an emotional time. It was a bit unfair to be asked that question right after walking off the field after a loss. Conversations were had with the relevant people and I am still in it. I've said to the guys if they would still like me to be the guy to lead, I am happy to do it. I've never ever made it about me, it's always been about the team. I don't think you've ever heard me say that it's about me and I,” Bavuma said during the press conference ahead of South Africa’s first game against England.

I will continue doing my best: Bavuma

Bavuma also stated that he would step down from the role if the new coaching team looks for a better alternative. If South Africa aim to make the cut for the World Cup 2023 which is scheduled in India later this year, they must defeat England at least once. Only five of their 16 WCSL games have ended in triumphs and they need three more wins in their next five games if they hope to avoid having to compete in a qualifying tournament in Zimbabwe in June and July.

“If the team wants to go in a different direction with a different leader, I am happy to step away. Ultimately it's up to the coach. We have got a new coach and a new coaching staff; the coach will have his vision and he will need somebody to drive that vision. At the moment the coach has entrusted me with that role so I will continue doing my best. Fortunately, I have got a bunch of guys that support me. For me, it's business as usual for now,” Bavuma added.

Shukri Conrad and Rob Walter were announced as the national men's teams' red-ball and white-ball coaches, respectively, by South Africa last week. Conrad has been given responsibility for the England series because Walter won't get to South Africa until February and no significant ODI squad changes have been made for South Africa. South Africa appears to be playing with greater assertiveness, and Bavuma has promised a somewhat different strategy.

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