The South Africa cricket team landed in India last week to play three T20Is and as many ODIs, beginning today in Thiruvananthapuram. The T20I series offers the last opportunity for both teams to test themselves before the grand cricket extravaganza that is the T20 World Cup. The first T20I between the two sides will be played on Wednesday, and ahead of the series opener, South Africa captain Temba Bavuma has said that he wouldn’t let his personal issues hamper his team’s performance. Recently, Bavuma suffered a tough few weeks when he wasn’t picked by any team in the SA20 league auction.
“My focus is on the team. I still have a role as the captain, and that is to lead and serve the team. My focus is on the World Cup, and making sure we are in the best space possible going into that tournament. Everything else, I try not to give it too much attention and energy. At the moment, I am just trying to serve the team as best as possible,” Bavuma was quoted as saying by IOL.
“I’m here to make sure the guys are in the best space possible going into that big World Cup tournament. All the other distractions, side-shows, that’s stuff I will deal with on a personal level. But being here within the team, as long as I am still wearing the shirt, it will be to serve and lead the team.”
Bavuma weighed in on the importance of the series and spoke about his plans to use the series to get everything in order for the World Cup staring in three-weeks’ time. Bavuma further discussed about the star players in Indian cricket team and how he expects the series to be a competitive affair.
“This is our last series before the World Cup. We will be looking to fill whatever gaps there are within the team, we have guys who have been playing lots of cricket, so we will be trying to manage their intensity. And we have got guys who need some cricket under their belts, and we will be looking to give them an opportunity,” said the right handed batter.
“Obviously, those are big names with big pedigree behind them, and obviously as you saw in their last while their performances have boosted the confidence of the team. We expect to come leading from the front, and good for us to come up against the best. You expect those guys to bring a lot of confidence and X-factor into the team. I expect the series to be a good one, a competitive one. We were challenged in all aspects of our game (back in July), and I think we answered it quite well.”