Bullish Temba Bavuma happy to step aside as Proteas skipper

“We’ve seen in Test cricket that you don’t get five-day Tests any more. Guys are taking on the game a lot more and England have done that very well in the past couple of years.”

“As South Africans we have our way of thinking, we have our way of doing things. There is nothing wrong with us taking a bit from England, putting it together and seeing what comes about.

“The biggest thing is that with the personnel we have, guys go out and express themselves. If that equates to a South African ‘Bazball’ [what England’s new style is called] way of playing — to use a stupid term — then so be it. If that means we are going to go out there and block the s**t out of the ball, then so be it.” 

Bavuma’s body language and tone was a far cry from the anguished figure that addressed local media after the team’s shocking exit from the T20 World Cup in November. 

On Thursday he smiled, sat upright, joked and threw in some colourful language. 

There has, he said, also been an acceptance from the players about possibly having to go through a qualifying tournament to secure their World Cup spot. 

“That’s something everyone is prepared to do, looking at the decision [to cancel the ODI series with Australia] that was made a couple of months ago to make way for the SA20. Those are the cards that are in front of us and we’ll deal with it as best we can.”

As for the tournament from which he was embarrassingly rejected when he failed to be picked up in the SA20 player auction, which left him practising by himself in Bloemfontein this week while teammates travelled from their franchises, Bavuma said he’d only kept a cursory eye on it.

“In the past two weeks I’ve been taking it really easy, connecting with family, it’s been really relaxing. I’ve watched one or two games of the SA20 — it looks like fun.”