South African captain Temba Bavuma thinks facing the swinging ball in the power play will be one of the key challenges for his team in the three-match T20I series against India, which starts in Thiruvananthapuram on Wednesday. India relied on their clout to come back from a 0-1 deficit to secure a 2-1 win in the recently concluded three-T20I series against Australia. The focus will now shift to an identical game against the Proteas, the final dress rehearsal for both teams before the T20 World Cup in Australia next month.
“It’s quite a challenge to face the new ball bowlers (in India), they let the ball swing and move a bit, a little more than what we’re used to in South Africa. That’s obviously a challenge that you get around must maneuver,” said the South African white-ball skipper on the eve of the opening T20I.
The chinks in India’s bowling armor were barely visible in the T20Is of three games against Australia.
In Sunday’s series decider in Hyderabad, the two veteran tempo duo Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar together conceded 79 runs from seven overs, with the latter claiming one wicket.
Considered a dead above specialist, Harshal Patel was also a major disappointment and the South African skipper knows what it takes to succeed in India.
“The key is to limit the damage and not drop the wickets and try to get the momentum going. But hey, Bhuvi and Bumrah always challenge you with the new ball up front,” he added.
By the way, Bhuvneshwar is equipped for the series ahead of the World Cup as the pace workload will be split between Bumrah, Umesh Yadav, Patel and Arshdeep Singh.
Striking India seems in safe hands with the return of Virat Kohli in form and Rohit Sharma leading from the front.
“Obviously those – Rohit and Virat – are big names with a big pedigree behind them, and of course their performance, as you’ve seen in their last time, has boosted the confidence of the team.
“We expect to come from the front and it’s good for us to compete against the best. You expect those guys to bring a lot of confidence and X factor to the team,” said the South African skipper.
That said, Bavuma will have an ‘unfinished business’ as their last run – a five-match T20I rubber – ended in a 2-2 result after rain washed out the decider in Bengaluru.
“The last time we were here we were tested, we were challenged, but I think we answered it pretty well. We expect this to be a good series, also a competitive one. This is the last series before the World Cup, we will try to fill in the gaps, whatever they are,” he added.
Personally, Bavuma has a lot to prove after being rejected from their SA20 auction, the country’s inaugural T20 League.
The skipper dismissed it as an ‘afterthought’ and said his role is to lead the country and keep everyone in a good space for the World Cup.
“I’m here to make sure the guys get to that big World Cup tournament in the best possible space. All other distractions, side shows as I would call it, I’ll be covering on a personal level.
“But being here within the team will be to serve and lead the team to the best of my ability as long as I’m still wearing the shirt,” said the 32-year-old.
(This story was not edited by NDTV staff and was generated automatically from a syndicated feed.)
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