“Temba has been batting very well,” de Kock told the media on Friday. “He’s looked very solid up front. He’s somehow found a way to keep going out there. He still feels good about his own game and has a lot of confidence. Temba always backs himself up, which is a good thing and a good quality to have”. . He is not fazed. At least I hope he isn’t, it doesn’t seem like he is.”
And 24 hours later, Bavuma confirmed that he is indeed unfazed. “For my part, maybe it’s just one of those moments where I’m scratching myself, but I think I have to maintain the belief that the opportunity will be there for me to make a big play within the team. That’s where “My head is there,” he said. “I take a lot of comfort in the fact that we’ve been starters for the first ten overs and obviously with the fit boys, they’ve been able to exploit that and play the way they have.”
But that doesn’t mean there aren’t expectations for Bavuma and de Kock predicts that one of the upcoming matches (with South Africa having at least three matches left) will see the best of the captain. “I have a feeling that one or two of these games, especially an important game, is when he is going to come forward for us. That is Temba Bavuma in a package,” de Kock said.
When asked if the support of his teammates is a balm in difficult times, Bavuma came out brighter in what could otherwise have been an intimidating press encounter. “That gives me a lot of confidence. It’s something I feel every day within the team,” he said. “And I think it’s probably due to the fact that there’s a group of hitters that have been together for the last three or four years. We’ve seen each other go through little ups and downs and we know that all of us mentally have what it takes to get through the little ones.” challenges we face.”
One of those challenges would have been the pre-match press conference. There were more journalists than at any other South Africa match and one of them was blunt in asking if South Africa had faced their demons.
“Have you talked about not choking in this important match?” a journalist asked Bavuma, as there was awkward movement in the room.
“I don’t know how to answer that,” Bavuma responded. “I think if we take off tomorrow, I don’t think it will be a matter of suffocation. I doubt the same will be said for India if they take off and they will suffocate.”
And that may have been the microphone drop. Bavuma is not a hostile or confrontational character, but rather an intellectual, thoughtful and soft-spoken cricketer. And as this World Cup draws to a close, he is proving to be someone who has internalized the challenges he faces as captain of a South African team, with all the history that comes with that role, and as an opening batsman. although he is one to whom they owe some careers.
“Mentally, obviously I have to stay there. There is still a lot of cricket left to do in this tournament. And I think I will have a role to play somewhere in the tournament.”