New brand of ‘fearless’ cricket pays off for Proteas – Bavuma

By Sthembiso Nkabinde

Proteas Test and ODI captain Temba Bavuma believes their recent success is down to the brand of cricket they have comitted to play under new coaches Rob Walter and Shukri Conrad.

The pair of Walter and Conrad were appointed as the white and red ball coaches, respectively, following the departure of Mark Boucher a few months ago.

Boucher vacated his role late last year following a disastrous ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia, where the Proteas were bundled out by lowly Netherlands.

Although Boucher announced he would be stepping down before the tournament kicked off, the miserable showing at the World Cup further tainted his tenure.

The appointment of Walter and Conrad in January saw the Proteas begin a new chapter and play a brand of cricket that many have described as “fearless”.

And it has brought about some good results in both the shorter and long formats, with some good series wins against England, West Indies, and the Netherlands.

“There’s obviously been changes within the team from a management point of view.

“The players have more or less stayed the same to be honest,” Bavuma told Sunday World.

“It’s still the same leadership, the only thing that has changed has been the performances and the way we have gone about playing our cricket. That’s been our biggest focus as a team.

“I think this year, as a team I feel we have played very well. But what excites me more than anything is the manner in which we have gone about playing our cricket.

“We have tried to be a lot more exciting, a lot more daring and really go out there to entertain the fans and supporters. And fortunately for us we’ve had the results really go our way.”

Bavuma, who will lead the Proteas once again at the ODI World Cup to be staged in India later this year, will hope for better performances than they produced in Australia at the T20 tournament.

The diminutive batsman has thrived under the new leadership of Walter and Conrad and will fully embrace the new brand of cricket heading into the global showpiece.

“We have the World Cup beckoning in a couple of months, we don’t have a lot of time between now and then,” said Bavuma.

“We meet up end of this month for camp and that’s where we will really start speaking about the plans and preparations as far as the World Cup is concerned.

“So, I think for now it’s just for us to bask in a bit of glory that we have achieved in the last couple of months but come end of June when we’re at the camp that’s when things will really get serious.

“We will start speaking about the squad and all the different combinations and how we want to approach the World Cup and go about our business in India come October,” said Bavuma.

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