‘Have always looked up to him’
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South Africa Test captain Temba Bavuma has clarified that there is nothing wrong between him and former Test captain Dean Elgar. Bavuma was recently appointed as South Africa’s Test captain, taking over the reins from Elgar as part of a restructuring by Cricket South Africa (CSA).
His sudden appointment led to speculations that all is not well between him and Elgar. Further, CSA also made changes to the coaching staff with Shukri Conrad taking over as Test coach and Rob Walter handling limited-overs teams as the Proteas look for a complete overhaul of their structure.
Bavuma’s first assignment as the Test captain will be the two-match series against the West Indies, starting on February 28. Commenting on his relationship with Elgar, Bavuma said that they have been good teammates and he has always looked up to him as a senior player.
“The question about my relationship with Dean, I think it’s a bit of a naughty one because there is nothing amiss and there is nothing wrong in my relationship with Dean,” Bavuma was quoted as saying by TimesLive.
“Dean and I have always been good teammates and I have always looked up to him as a senior player. He helped me to settle within the team and I don’t see how things can change with whatever changes have been made from a leadership point of view. I have had discussions with Dean and there is nothing between me and Dean that anybody needs to be worried or concerned about,” he added.
For Bavuma, Test captaincy doesn’t come as a daunting task, having led the South African side in white-ball cricket. He further said that the opportunity to lead the side in the longest format is special to him.
“Pressure that comes with Test captaincy, I don’t know what type is going to be but I have been in international cricket for a number of years and all I know is pressure. In Test cricket it is different and I guess it is something that I will have to experience and take along my journey,” he said.
“First and foremost the dream was always to play Test cricket, I have lived the dream but the opportunity of leading the team is a lot more special. It means a lot to me, to my family and people who have supported and have been with me on this journey. It is a special one,” he added.
He wanted me to be the guy to take the team to those heights: Temba Bavuma
The Proteas Test captain revealed that he had a conversation with Conrad before accepting the leadership role in Tests. “Communication came from Shukri, we had a conversation and he explained to me where he would like to take the team and he wanted me to be the guy to take the team to those heights and fulfil that vision. I had certain questions that I wanted to ask him to understand why he chose me for the role and I was satisfied with what he said to me,” Bavuma said.
The 33-year-old also disclosed that he had been pondering about leaving T20I captaincy. “I was always going to consider my role when it comes to the white ball stuff probably in the best interest of the team and everyone involved. I was always going to make that decision and it was just a matter of when. But there was no urgency from my side in terms of coming out and saying I am stepping down as T20 captain,” he said.