Last few months have been the toughest injury-wise: Bavuma

RETURNING FROM INJURY

“The last few months have been the toughest from an injury point of view,” Boucher © Getty

South Africa’s limited-overs captain Temba Bavuma revealed his frustrations of being resigned to the sidelines in the last three months owing to an elbow injury. Bavuma suffered the elbow knock on his team’s tour of India this June and was away from the game for the last three months. Incidentally, he returns in time for South Africa’s tour of India again, for three T20Is and three ODIs, before heading to Australia for the World Cup.

“The last few months have been the toughest from an injury point of view,” he explained. “It was definitely frustrating. Going through that period not really knowing when I was going to recover with my elbow, it was quite difficult mentally. But I’m here now, my elbow feels good, I obviously opted against the surgery, but I I’m excited and blessed to have the opportunity again to run out there for the Proteas.”

South Africa have had a transformative period in the format in the last 12-odd months, having won 14 of the 18 games they’ve played since August 2021. They march towards the World Cup in peak form, but also face the situation of having to lose their head coach Mark Boucher after the T20 World Cup.

Bavuma refused to look too far beyond and about what the post-Boucher era would look like, but felt the exciting brand of cricket that they’ve played recently won’t walk out of the door with Boucher.

“It’s difficult to look that far into the future,” Bavuma said. “We’re just focused on the now at the moment and that is on the tour to India. The focus is also on filling the gaps that need to be filled in terms of preparation, also in terms of getting the guys into form leading up to the World Cup and making sure we keep holding on to our confidence and belief as a unit. That’s where the focus is right now.”

“What happens after the World Cup is quite hard to talk about. In terms of the brand of play I don’t see that changing. I think the language that we’ve been speaking as a team has been quite consistent over the last 18 months, so I don’t see that changing. The coach will leave, but his taste and brand on the team that is with us at the moment, that will continue,” he added.

Bavuma also reckoned the focus currently, is on the tour of India, starting September 28, where form and combinations could be thoroughly gauged. “We want to get the guys into shape, most of them have been in shape but guys like me, I’ve been out of action for the past three months so now I’m looking forward to that,” Bavuma said. “Personally, I just want to be out there on the park and use that opportunity to get game time, to get runs behind me and to get the confidence back.

“There may be other guys as well not yet in the right form, so it’s about getting them to where they need to be at. We also need to finalize that final XI. We have a good idea of ​​what that team will look like, but also considering the fact that conditions in India are different to those in Australia. So the side we probably play in Australia won’t necessarily be the one in India,” he added.

The India tour starts off with T20Is from September 28 to October 4, followed by three ODIs from October 6 to 11.

© Cricbuzz

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