Proteas coach Mark Boucher says he’s got a plan to get the best out of captain Temba Bavuma in T20 cricket.
Bavuma, who is currently nursing an elbow injury, struggled in the recent five-match T20I series against India, which ended in a 2-2 draw.
In four innings the opening batsman scored 61 at an average of 20.33. What was more worrying, though, was his strike rate of 103.38.
But Boucher says Bavuma’s struggles was against one man only – India’s Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
And to prevent it from happening again, he and his coaching staff will work hard to equip the skipper against such threats ahead of the T20 World Cup in October.
Boucher explains: “Temba struggled on the tour, there is no doubt. “As coaches we sit down and say why did he struggle.
“First of all, he struggled against one bowler and that was against Kumar. Most of the guys struggled against him as well. Kumar is a fantastic bowler, especially in those conditions…
“We look at it as coaches, how do we look at that particular bowler and how we give him more options.
“It’s quite difficult for him [Bavuma] to change up in a series where you basically travel, play, travel, play. He hasn’t played a lot of cricket as well [recently] and to come into a series to open the batting, it was always going to be quite tough on him.
“Against other bowlers his strike rate is fine – there’s no issue.”
Boucher adds that working with Bavuma and adding more shots and options to his batting is the solution to the problem.
He adds: “There’s no major concern from our side, he’ll know that he wants to score better and quicker.
“If you look at the teams around the world, there is space for a guy who is almost, I wouldn’t say nudge and nurdler, there’s no space for a nudge and nurdler in today’s cricket, but certainly a guy who stabilise an innings and we see him in that mould.
“He’s got his way and means of playing the game and he picks up boundaries in different ways. It’s just one little period of play and against one particular bowler, but we’ve got a plan.
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“He wants to improve and I’ve got no doubt given a bit of time that we get onto a bowling machine and work on a few things, I’ve got no doubt that he’ll come through.
“He’s a tough cricketer and captain and certainly someone we need in the team, so as coaches we’ll be working hard to get him right against that particular bowling style.”