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Chuffed Faf implores re-born Temba to continue riding the wave: ‘If you’re in form, cash in’

Temba Bavuma. (Photo by SA20/Sportzpics/Gallo Images)

Temba Bavuma. (Photo by SA20/Sportzpics/Gallo Images)

  • Faf du Plessis hopes Temba Bavuma can continue riding the wave of good form after the latter made his mark on the SA20.
  • The Proteas white-ball skipper has transformed his game since shrugging off a trials of 2022, where his batting came under severe scrutiny. 
  • Du Plessis continues to ask questions himself over a potential return to international cricket as his red-hot form continues.

Faf du Plessis has implored Temba Bavuma to continue riding his wave of good form after he went a long way towards justifying his belated inclusion in the SA20 at the Wanderers on Sunday.

WATCH | Klaasen writes himself into the early annals of SA20 with absurdly dominant century

The Proteas’ white-ball skipper – drafted as replacement for Englishman Tom Abell on Thursday – crafted an excellent 50 off 34 deliveries in a losing cause for Sunrisers Eastern Cape on a two-paced pitch where only he and his former national captain Du Plessis, spearheading Joburg Super Kings’ charge, prospered.  

Bavuma has looked a different player since guiding South Africa to an ODI series victory over England, not only making a third century in the format, but also ending with a strike rate of 115.

Back at his beloved “Bullring”, he scored at a strike rate of 147, dwarfing his career figure of 124.

Du Plessis noted that Bavuma’s tough journey towards this juncture of his career can’t be underplayed.

“T20 is the hardest format to deal with form. So when you’re scoring some runs and it seems like you’re in a bit of form, you need to capitalise. Temba’s on a bit of form now and that’s really good for him to be scoring runs,” he said. 

“Obviously, when there’s a bit of pressure, it’s really is hard to find form, especially when it feels to you like the game is moving along far quicker than it actually is. You don’t feel like you have the time to get yourself in, every dot ball adds more pressure.” 

Now, however, it seems the silky right-hander is redefining his game.

“It’s great to see him come back after his break, get some form and [he] played really well in the ODI series against England,” said Du Plessis.    

“I’m very pleased to see him score in the manner that he did. He’s clearly worked on being a bit more aggressive, which is something that will evolve into his T20 game and I saw that.

“He batted beautifully with some really positive stroke-play. So that’s the way he needs to play in T20s.” 

Meanwhile, the 38-year-old Du Plessis continues to ask tantalising questions on whether he still has a role to play at international level, his brilliant 61-ball 92 cementing his place as the tournament’s leading run-scorer (369).

He though is simply making sure he uses every opportunity for a substantial score to the hilt.

“I’m very happy. It’s very pleasing that I can contribute to the team. For me, the most important thing when you’re in form is to score big runs. You have to cash in on that,” said Du Plessis.

“You’re wasting form if you’re making 20s or 30s. My responsibility is to when I do get in, I need to make it count. I’m glad I’ve done that in the last two games.”

With a final round-robin fixture left against the eliminated MI Cape Town at home on Monday evening, Joburg will hope that the batting’s reliance on their skipper eases ahead of the playoffs.

“Ideally we’d like the middle order to cash in a bit, make some runs. We’ve had a few guys looking good and hopefully its an opportunity for some time in the middle for them,” said Du Plessis.

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