South Africa not taking new-look India lightly, says Bavuma

“Opportunities will be given to those guys to see what role they can play and what value they can add to the team.”
South Africa not taking new-look India lightly, says Bavuma
South Africa skipper Temba BavumaReuters

NEW DELHI: South Africa skipper Temba Bavuma said that the upcoming T20I series against India would be an opportunity to identify players for specific roles for the World Cup, which will be held in Australia later this year.

The South Africa T20 team last competed in November at the World Cup and with the next global event slated to begin in October, Bavuma is keen to marshal his troops. “The conditions in India do not accurately simulate the conditions in Australia. In saying that, there is still a lot of benefit from playing. Any type of competitive cricket will be good for us,” Bavuma said during a virtual media interaction on Saturday.

“We will use these games to familiarise ourselves again with how we go about playing cricket. Getting that right language we speak amongst ourselves, getting guys to understand what their roles are within the team.” The visitor will field a few new faces in a bid to find an able opening partner for Quinton de Kock. “Opportunities will be given to those guys to see what role they can play and what value they can add to the team.”

The India team will be without many senior cricketers, but Bavuma expects the five-match series to be competitive. With stars like skipper Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Jasprit Bumrah rested for the rubber, the host will be led by KL Rahul and will feature some new faces, including pacers Umran Malik and Arshdeep Singh.

“It is obviously a new-look India side. A lot of guys who did well in the recent IPL have been given opportunities. As a team, we will not look at it (India as an opposition) any differently. We do not really see it (the series) as taking on a ‘B’ side. We have played against the India T20 side. So, going into the games, we will still be as motivated as ever. The competitiveness will be there,” added Bavuma.

The South Africa white-ball skipper opined that the India team has had players who go hard and play aggressive cricket in recent times.

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