Dean Elgar supports the space granted to ODI and T20I skipper of South Africa Temba Bavuma before the forthcoming Test series in Australia, saying he is committed to getting the best out of Bavuma in the Test cricket.
After a disappointing T20 World Cup, Bavuma was the only specialist batter in the group who was not needed to play a first-class match in the lead-up to the tour. Elgar and Bavuma both failed to find buyers in the SA20 auction, and as Bavuma lost form in the run-up to the World Cup, calls for his dismissal grew. He also missed South Africa’s tour of England.
Following South Africa’s tournament-ending loss to the Netherlands, Bavuma said he would consider his options carefully and would not let emotion influence his decision. “I respect what he has been through. I can’t speak for what he has been through because I wouldn’t know how to deal with it personally. For now, I am respecting the space he is in.”The time off has done him well. He wanted to have a break from the game for a little while and you’ve got to respect that as well. He has got a lot of pressure on his plate, but we still have work to do and he has to be in the right space for the team,” ESPNcricinfo quoted Elgar as saying.
“That’s going to be the message I put forward to him, and I am pretty sure he will respond well. He hasn’t played a lot of cricket of late and it’s up to me to get him into the right space, so we give him the best opportunity to go out and play his brand of Test cricket,” he further added. Bavuma has been one of South Africa’s most productive Test bats over the past two years, despite his dismal T20 performance. He has scored six half-centuries and averages 47.93 since December 2020, outperforming everyone else in the lineup. He was greatly missed in England, when South Africa lost the series 2-1 after being bowled out four times for less than 200 runs.
“We had a very tough series in England. The conditions were bowler friendly and a lot of guys were exposed to the harsh conditions of Test cricket,” he said. “Going to Australia, it is a little bit more of a fairer competition between bat and ball, where the wickets that they produce are pretty good cricket wickets. If you have got a bowling line-up like we have, you need runs on the board to give them the opportunity to take 20 wickets,” said Elgar.