Dean Elgar named South Africa’s Test captain; Temba Bavuma to lead in ODIs and T20Is

Temba Bavuma (left) and Dean Elgar (right) will lead South Africa
Temba Bavuma (left) and Dean Elgar (right) will lead South Africa's limited-overs and Test sides, respectively. (Photo: CSA)

South Africa opener Dean Elgar has been appointed the country’s new Test captain, while Temba Bavuma will lead the limited-overs team; Bavuma will also be Elgar’s deputy in Tests.

Dean Elgar will lead South Africa in the next cycle of the World Test Championship, whereas Temba Bavuma will lead in the upcoming T20 World Cups in 2021 and 2022 and also in the ODI World Cup in 2023.

In a press release, director of Cricket South Africa (CSA) Graeme Smith said:

“We as CSA are pleased with the appointments of Temba and Dean and believe that we have the men who will lead the Proteas back to their winning ways of old. The pair bring the required stability in both leadership and form to turn the ship in the direction that will eventually bring trophies back to the cabinets.”

While praising Temba Bavuma for his consistency across all three formats for South Africa, Graeme Smith hopes the 30-year-old would rise to the challenge of leading his country. He said in this regard:

“Temba has been a strong and influential voice in the team in recent times and has shown consistency on the field in all formats, solidifying his place as a leader. He also has the trust and backing of the players and coaches around him. We are excited to have him lead the Proteas in the upcoming T20 World Cups as well as the 2023 World Cup in India. He will also be the Test team’s vice-captain, working closely with Dean to ensure continuity and stability in the squad.

Graeme Smith also talked highly of Dean Elgar's credentials for leading the South African Test team, saying:

“Dean has made no secret of his Test captaincy ambitions over the years, and we are pleased to have a leader who is ready, willing and able to step up to the massive task of turning our Test cricket fortunes around. His role as a leader in the Test team has never been in doubt, and I know that he relishes the prospect of captaining the Test team. We are confident that he will bring the same grit and determination to his captaincy as he has brought to his many performances on the field over many years.”

Debuting in 2012, the 33-year-old Dean Elgar has played 67 Tests for South Africa and has been among their most successful openers. However, Temba Bavuma has little experience in limited-overs international cricket, representing South Africa in only six ODIs and eight T20Is.

Cricket South Africa thanks Quinton de Kock

Quinton de Kock didn
Quinton de Kock didn't really have a great time as South Africa's captain.

Quinton de Kock led South Africa for a short while but did not enjoy enough success. Through the board’s release, Cricket South Africa (CSA) director Graeme Smith thanked the wicketkeeper-batsman and stated:

“We are grateful to Quinton for the work he has put in as captain of the team in the limited-overs formats and are indebted to him for stepping up while the national selection panel continued its search for the Test captain. We expect him to still play an integral role in the team’s leadership group.”

South Africa have suffered a slump across formats in recent years after the retirements of AB de Villiers, Hashim Amla and Dale Steyn.

South Africa are fifth in the ICC ODI and the T20I rankings, while they have slipped to the sixth spot in Test rankings after suffering a series whitewash in Pakistan.

Temba Bavuma and Dean Elgar indeed have an onerous task at hand to revamp the flagging fortunes of South Africa across formats. However, Temba Bavuma sounded upbeat about his new challenge, observing in this regard:

“Captaining the Proteas has been a dream of mine for many years as those closest to me would know. This is one of the greatest honours of my life so far, and I am looking forward to picking up where Quinny (de Kock) has left off in leading the team into the new culture we have developed and continue to work on.

An elated Dean Elgar echoed similar sentiments when he said:

“Temba and I know more than most the challenge we have ahead of us in returning the Test squad back to its winning ways, but I know that we’re both more than ready for the task at hand. I’m looking forward to bringing stability back into the team and laying a solid foundation for us to be able to accomplish the ambitions we all have to see the Proteas go back to the world’s number one spot in all three formats.”

With their home Test series against Australia getting cancelled, South Africa’s next assignment will be hosting Pakistan in an ODI and T20I series at home in April.

Edited by Bhargav
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