The South African cricket team has got a timely boost ahead of the ICC T20 World Cup, scheduled to commence on October 17, with skipper Temba Bavuma saying that he is “recovering well from the broken thumb” he suffered in Sri Lanka.
But it has also added to the Proteas’ selection headache.
South Africa open their campaign against Australia in a ‘Super 12’ game on October 23. Bavuma had fractured his thumb during the opening One-day International against Sri Lanka last month in Colombo. The South African was attempting to avoid a fielder’s throw-in and was unfortunately struck on the right thumb.
Bavuma is now looking forward to his first “live net” session later on Friday and is hopeful of playing in the warm-up matches ahead of the T20 World Cup.
“My hand is definitely improving by the day,” Bavuma said to icc-cricket.com. “It’s getting stronger and I am getting a lot more comfortable with it.
“(Friday) it will be the first time I am having a live net, facing bowlers, so I am looking forward to that and that will give me a better indication of how far I’ve progressed. At the moment, everything is still on track. I am looking to play in the warm-up games. I am feeling good.”
While a welcome return, Bavuma’s awaited re-entry into the XI does present a new selection headache for the South Africans. In Bavuma’a absence, Reeza Hendricks has been partnering Quinton de Kock at the top of the order with Aiden Markram batting at No.3
Bavuma is likely to return as an opener, leaving the Proteas with a difficult decision as to whether the simply shift Hendricks and Markram down a position or have to exclude one of them from the XI.
“My role is quite obvious and clear to me. I’m someone who comes in at the top,” Bavuma said. “If there’s an opportunity to come in at No 3, I’ll play in that spot. Reeza has batted quite well of late at the top of the order.
“But I’ll probably partner Quinny (De Kock) and see who fits into the middle order.”
South Africa play their first warm-up match on October 18 against Afghanistan and start their T20 World Cup on October 23.