Bavuma recalled for crucial final Test against England

Temba Bavuma
Temba Bavuma South Africa PA

South Africa have recalled batsman Temba Bavuma for the deciding final Test against England.

Bavuma missed the series opener at Centurion with a hip injury and was then overlooked for the next two matches, both of which South Africa lost, despite his official role as vice-captain.

He will now make his return at the Wanderers, having scored a career-best 180 on his return to domestic cricket with the Lions last week.

Bavuma, who scored his only Test century four years ago against England, takes the place of the off-form Zubayr Hamza and will bat in the middle order while Rassie van der Dussen moves up to three.

“I can tell you that Temba is back in the side to replace Zubayr,” said captain Faf du Plessis.

“The rest of the selection we are still waiting on to see what the weather does, but that one is definite.”

There will be at least one other change to the XI, with Kagiso Rabada banned for an accumulation of disciplinary breaches, culminating in his celebration after dismissing Joe Root in Port Elizabeth.

Left-armer Beuran Hendricks is in line for a debut but all-rounders Dwaine Pretorius and Andile Phehlukwayo are also on hand.

Regardless of who is picked, the seam attack will revolve around Vernon Philander in his final Test before international retirement.

Paying tribute to the 34-year-old, who has signed for Somerset, Du Plessis said: “Vern is that good that he will take some time to replace, but I know there’s a lot of talent in this pool of South African cricket that someone will come through.

“He is a banker. I know I am going to get control out of him, I know Vern gives me that.

“In the later years it’s been about managing his workload. He didn’t bowl as much in the previous game as a bowler like him can bowl but that was foresight, understanding that we will need him here at Wanderers.

“If necessary he can push himself a little bit more here, which he will because it’s his last.”

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