Bavuma unlikely to become an opener

Despite scoring a hundred on his ODI debut as an opener, Proteas batsman Temba Bavuma doesn’t see himself filling the role regularly in the immediate future.

Bavuma scored 113 against Ireland on Sunday, the second highest score by a South African player on debut, but expects Hashim Amla to retain his place as the team’s opener alongside Quinton de Kock.

The young man credited the selectors with his performance: “I think the credit must go to the selectors and the administrators.

“They decided I should fill in this role for this game and it’s worked out.”

Bavuma has only opened on one other occasion, in a Test in India last year, and both times he has been asked to do the job he has acquitted himself well.

The 26-year-old understands why he may not open again, adding: “Hashim is the incumbent. He is well established and I am sure he will be back to fill those boots.

“And at the Lions, I probably won’t go to Geoff [Toyana] and ask to open. I think it will be disruptive. The Lions have Stephen Cook and Reeza Hendricks so for me to look for a place there will cause more harm than good.”

Bavuma credited playing with De Kock with helping him settle and play well: “I was able to perform the way I performed because of the way Quinny plays. Up front he makes any wicket look flat.

“He can score runs at will so it allowed me to take a bit more time and settle the nerves.”

The pitch didn’t allow any batsman to settle with the bounce proving unpredictable.

Bavuma continued: “Throughout the innings I didn’t feel any kind of fluency. The wicket was a bit on the slower side and a bit two-paced, I struggled to hit through the line so I had to make sure I was strong in my game plans, ran hard and found the gaps.”

Bavuma has targeted success at white ball cricket this season and has started in the best way possible.

The right-hander added: “At the start of the season I set myself goals to try and improve as a player and one of the areas was with the white ball,”

“Your intensity must be higher. Even if you block the ball, you block it with the intent to score. At times I struggled with that today but I am generally a positive player and I look to put the bad balls away.

“I have always seen batting as just batting. Whether it’s at No. 1 or No. 4, the ball is still the ball. At the Lions I will probably slot in in the middle and I will try and do things the way I normally do them.”