Bavuma ready to bat in any position for Cobras

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He would like to bat up the order for Cape Cobras if he gets an opportunity, but whoever is entrusted with that responsibility will be well suited to perform says Temba Bavuma.

Bavuma (27) recently returned to his Cape roots and has expressed the desire to represent Langa at club level.

“I know they have been promoted to Premier League status and it would be good to get involved with them whenever there is a free weekend available.”

Despite his young age, Bavuma has already represented South Africa in 24 tests and played in 113 first-class matches. In fact, it is virtually nine seasons since he debuted for Gauteng at age 18.

He struck an unbeaten 102 at PPC Newlands in January 2016 to shepherd the South African lower order as the hosts hammered a heroic 627 in reply to England’s 629, one of the finest batting displays by the Proteas since unity.

Bavuma says his position in the batting order will be up to the head coach, Ashwell Prince, and Dane Piedt, the captain.

He has always prided himself in dealing with any batting position, whether opening in India, batting at four, five or six for South Africa.

“My words to the coach has always been: you can pick me in any position, as long as I play and fill the boots,” he added.

His role is to perform at domestic level whenever he gets an opportunity and to showcase why he has been selected to represent South Africa, he adds.

Championship domestic teams habitually strike ten to 12 centuries at first-class level to win trophies, like the Cobras in 2014 (11 tons) and the Multiply Titans (12) in 2016.

“We have the ability and the experience to score those hundreds. Just think of players like Andrew Puttick, Justin Ontong and Stiaan van Zyl. They have done it before. And then you have players like Jason Smith and Zubayr Hamza also in the mix,” he adds.

“But just as those centuries are needed, you also have to capture 20 wickets. So having bowlers who can take 40 or 50 scalps in a season is the telling factor,” he added.

The South African senior player JP Duminy was in the nets to interact with Bavuma at PPC Newlands on Wednesday prior to the team’s departure to Oudtshoorn where an experienced squad will play in two two-day warm-up games against the Warriors starting on Saturday 9th September.

The diminutive South African star says after a long lay-off he feels a bit “different and it is about getting the feeling back. I have been interacting with him.

“When I got into the international team, he was there. It will be nice to play with him at domestic level. Feeding off his experience can only do us the world of good,” Bavuma explained.

Bavuma said he is not keen to put a figure to his goals for the season. “I just want to get better at my skills and also share that with the younger batsmen. If you are playing at Newlands and you perform, the crowds will turn up.”

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Asked about the test team and the imminent return of AB de Villiers, Bavuma said: “I have enjoyed my interactions with him. His return will do the team and the younger batsmen a world of good. I like the way he goes about his business. He understands his role in helping the younger players. I learn from him just by watching him bat,” he said.

Charl Langeveldt, one of the most experienced bowling coaches domestically and a former South African player, was at the nets to lend a helping hand on Wednesday. He shared his vast experience with Dayyaan Galiem and some other fast bowlers.

The squad for Oudtshoorn is: Dane Piedt (capt), Simon Khomari, Andrew Puttick, JP Duminy, Aviwe Mgijima, Temba Bavuma, Justin Ontong, Tshepo Moreki, GF Linde, Zubayr Hamza, Jason Smith, Qaasim Adams, Dayyaan Galiem, Kyle Verreynne, Vernon Philander, Lizaad Williams.

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