Temba Bavuma replaces Dean Elgar as South Africa’s Test captain, but relinquishes T20I job

Temba Bavuma replaces Dean Elgar as South Africa's Test captain, but relinquishes T20I job
Temba Bavuma will captain South Africa’s Test team amid sweeping changes to the set-up in the post Mark Boucher era. Bavuma’s first assignment will be to lead the side in the two-match Test series against West Indies, starting on February 28.
Bavuma takes over from Dean Elgar, who was named Test captain in mid-2021 and won his first four series, including a home series win over India, but lost in England and Australia. Bavuma will also continue as ODI captain but has relinquished the T20I job, following South Africa’s group-stage exits at the last two T20 World Cups.

“We trust he [Bavuma] will deliver on all our expectations and help carry the team forward after some excellent work by his predecessor Dean during the same period,” Enoch Nkwe, CSA’s director of cricket, said. “At the same time, I would like to sincerely thank Dean for all his commitment to the role over the past two years. He helped the team navigate through some stormy waters and put them in good position on the ICC World Test Championship table.

“Both men have made us proud with the work they have done within the wider Proteas group and look forward to the next step in what is a new era for the Proteas under the leadership of dual coaches Shukri Conrad and Rob Walter.”

Speaking at the SA20 debrief, former South African captain Graeme Smith, who is the league’s commissioner, said any new captain would have a daunting task ahead. “The important part is for them to understand the strategy of how they’re going to get our team playing well again and dominating the world again,” he said. “That is going to be the most important part. All people in these types of leadership positions are going to have a strong buy-in with the key administrators who can help them grow the game and get better: from the selectors to the director of cricket to the CEO to some of the board members. That support, and that structure and the alignment of the strategy, is so important. They need to invest in that and take things on.”

van der Dussen dropped, Markram recalled

Tony de Zorzi, meanwhile, earned his maiden call-up. He is currently the leading run-scorer in CSA’s four-day division 1 series tallying 489 runs with a best of 304 not out.
Ryan Rickelton has also been included despite carrying a severe ankle injury that requires surgery. He too has had a good run in the four-day tournament, scoring 240 runs in four innings with the help of two centuries.

Squad: Temba Bavuma (capt), Gerald Coetzee, Tony de Zorzi, Dean Elgar, Simon Harmer, Marco Jansen, Heinrich Klaasen, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, Wiaan Mulder, Senuran Muthusamy, Anrich Nortje, Keegan Petersen, Kagiso Rabada, Ryan Rickelton

JP Duminy is set to be appointed as batting coach

There are also changes to South Africa’s coaching set-up. JP Duminy is in discussion to take over as batting coach and will replace Justin Sammons, who was in the role under former coach Boucher. Duminy is currently the head coach of Paarl Rocks, who are fifth in Division One of the four-day competition and finished in the same position in the one-day cup, and he also coached Paarl Royals in the SA20.
Duminy is also likely to form part of the selection panel, which will only be made up of coaching staff at the moment. Victor Mpitsang and Patrick Moroney, who were in the jobs of selection convener and selector respectively, have been released. Among their more controversial decisions was the inclusion of Simon Harmer in the Manchester Test, which changed a winning attack from Lord’s and forced South Africa to bat first on a seamer-friendly pitch.

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