At the Wanderers
- Proteas Test captain Temba Bavuma said the trauma of the T20 World Cup exit is a thing of the past.
- Bavuma made 172 in South Africa’s innings, a knock that allowed his team to beat the West Indies by 284 runs in the second Test.
- Bavuma’s 100 was his first in Tests since his 2016 100 against England at Newlands.
Proteas Test captain Temba Bavuma said he’s put the traumas of the early T20 World Cup exit firmly behind him as he and his team basked in the glory of long-awaited Test series success.
Bavuma’s charges brushed aside the West Indies by 284 runs an hour before tea on the fourth day to claim a 2-0 series win and retain the Sir Vivian Richards Trophy.
The Test series success was South Africa’s first in nearly a year after a drawn series in New Zealand at the start of March last year was followed up by a 2-0 home dusting of Bangladesh and consecutive series losses against England and Australia away.
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Sandwiched in between those Test series losses that cost the Proteas a place in the World Test Championship final was the T20 World Cup implosion where SA exited the tournament after losing their last group game to the Netherlands.
Bavuma had cast a crestfallen and emotional figure in the OR Tambo International Airport and with him ascending to the Test leadership, he relinquished the T20 captaincy.
He was in a far different space after celebrating his first Test series win as captain.
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“What happened in Australia took place a long time ago, if I could put it that way,” Bavuma said.
“In the reference to what happened in the T20 World Cup, I’m past it now. It’s happened and I’ve moved on from it.
“I’m here now and my mind is in a different space now. I’m happy with how my team has played and in the manner that we gained the victory.”
Bavuma missed the England tour through injury, but was again called upon to play firefighting knocks in the 2-0 loss in Australia.
On accepting the Test match leadership, he joined a select band of leaders who made a pair on their leadership debut. Of those, he became the first to win his first leadership game despite a double blob, which he swiftly followed up with his 172, his first Test 100 in more than seven years.
Bavuma said he took lessons from the Australia tour that he hoped he applied well on his return.
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“It was tough in Australia and as players, we were all under pressure,” Bavuma said.
“There were things that I learned in Australia and when I returned from the tour, I sat down and thought through them.
“I looked at where I needed to improve my game and I hope the results were there for everyone to see in the England ODI series and the 100 I made.
“However, in cricket, you learn something new every day.”