South Africa to use more of Temba Bavuma at No. 4 spot

"When Bavuma batted at four he was our best player in really challenging conditions." - Faf.

Temba Bavuma
South Africa’s Temba Bavuma. (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images)

After losing the Test series 3-1 to England, the South African skipper Faf du Plessis believes in giving Temba Bavuma more opportunities to bat at the number four spot. During the recently concluded series, Bavuma was one of the three players South Africa used at the crucial spot in their batting line-up. JP Duminy batted at No.4 in the first Test before getting dropped from the next three while Quinton de Kock was promoted on quite a few occasions in the series later on.

After Duminy’s exclusion from the squad post the first Test, South Africa used the services of De Kock as a floater who could put pressure back on England with his trademark knock of scoring runs at a quick pace like he did at the Trent Bridge on a green top which did put a greater impact on the result of the game. However, he failed to be consistent after the 68-run knock as he scored 1, 17 and 5 in his following outings at No.4.

“The change with Quinton going in at four was to transfer pressure back on the England team and he is the one guy who can do that,” said Faf du Plessis at Old Trafford, Manchester after the loss. “He did that in the second Test with match-changing innings on a green top but from a consistency point of view your number four needs to play the way the team needs him to play and Quinton plays the way he needs to play.”

De Kock’s failures prompted the Proteas to utilize Bavuma at four in the last Test at Manchester where he scored 46 and 12 respectively. Keeping an eye on future, the Proteas skipper has felt to use Bavuma more at the No.4 spot and De Kock in the lower order where he could play some gem of innings like England’s middle and lower order often.

“In conditions like this, with the ball moving around, I think it’s better for Quinton to come in at six or seven like your (Jonny) Bairstow, (Ben) Stokes and (Moeen) Ali,” he added.

“Temba is probably technically our best player along with Hashim Amla and myself,” said Du Plessis rating the 26-year-old highly.  I love what I see in Temba’s character and he’s going to be an important leader for us in the team. I’m a big believer that, if you see that in somebody you give them the responsibility to bring the best out in them.”

“When Bavuma batted at four he was our best player in really challenging conditions and that showed me that he has the capability of being South Africa’s number four for a long time,” concluded the South African Test skipper.