South Africa's white-ball skipper Temba Bavuma opened up on his emotional celebration after a timely century in the second ODI against England in Bloemfontein on January 29. While the right-hander said it wasn't planned, Bavuma wanted to remind his critics why he deserves to be in the side.
The right-hander has triggered a stunning return to form in the last two ODIs against England, scoring freely at the top of the order. He scored a 28-ball 36 in the first match. The Proteas captain then struck 109 off 102 deliveries in the second in pursuit of 343 and brought his third ODI century off 100 balls.
Speaking at the post-match press conference, Bavuma admitted that emotions had got the better of him during the celebration. This is due to criticism he faced in the past few months, exacerbated by a poor T20 World Cup campaign:
"It was quite emotional getting to that moment. The celebration wasn’t planned. It was a reminder to myself and to everyone that I am still here and I still deserve to be where I am. Emotionally it can be draining and it can be taxing."
"As much as you try to block it out, it does affect you. The biggest one is when it affects people around you – your family. As a player, I have my way of dealing with it. It is a part of the journey.”
While the right-hander had been in poor form, South Africa also endured a nightmare World Cup campaign. It ended after a shock defeat to the Netherlands in the Super 12 stage. The skipper had managed only 70 runs in five games at 17.50, striking at 112.90.
"The conversation I had with Shukri helped" - Temba Bavuma
Bavuma credited coach Shukri Conrad for his turnaround in form. He claimed that Conrad had lent an ear to him and merely listened to his thoughts and helped his mind get in the right state of mind. The veteran said:
"The conversation I had with Shukri helped. It was just being vulnerable to the coach about where I see myself and how I feel about everything. He helped me clear through all the nonsense that was in my head and helped me get ready for the series."
"It was just being vulnerable to the coach about where I see myself and how I feel about everything. He helped me clear through all the nonsense that was in my head and helped me get ready for the series."
South Africa's 343 chase was the highest successful run-chase in ODIs at the Maungang Oval. The five-wicket victory kept their hopes alive of attaining direct qualification for the 2023 World Cup.
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