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The Coming of Age: Temba Bavuma & Rassie vd Dussen

The Coming of Age: Temba Bavuma & Rassie vd Dussen. The Coming of Age of two fine cricketers is brought to you by Ongama Gcwabe & Bet Central.  

Temba Bavuma Rassie vd Dussen

Across all three formats, the Proteas have been in search of cricketers that will take the team forward, and two ‘late-bloomers’ (Bavuma and Rassie) have stood out and made their intentions of taking South African Cricket back to their glorious status very clear. The Coming of Age of two fine cricketers is brought to you by Ongama Gcwabe & Bet Central.

Temba Bavuma

There’s no better way to silence critics than a well-crafted, accurately measured and immaculate century as captain of a side. Temba Bavuma did exactly that during the first ODI between South Africa and India in Paarl on Wednesday. Bavuma crafted 108 runs off 143 deliveries.  

Bavuma has been through a lot of scrutinies over the years and has experienced all the highs and lows of international cricket. Often than not, Bavuma has been put under the microscope for his failure to convert his many international fifties into centuries and this criticism is often misplaced and lacks context.  

In the recently concluded Test series against the same oppositions, Bavuma was the only batter to average over fifty and was fourth on leading run-scorers for the series. Still, the man from Langa in  Cape Town was not given his flowers as one of the players that saved the series for South Africa.  

On a sunny morning in Paarl, Bavuma won the toss, handing the Indians their first toss loss on tour,  and asked the visitors to bowl first on a wicket that looked like a run-fest and spinner friendly. After losing Janneman Malan in the fifth over of the match, captain Bavuma walked to the middle wearing the cool, calm & collected face he usually has on.  

This time it was different, his innings was different, his demeanour at the crease looked different to the Temba we’ve grown accustomed to; he added an attacking element to his stroke play and looked a batter oozing with confidence against one of the best ODI bowling attacks in world cricket at the moment. 


Rassie van der Dussen

Not too different from Bavuma, Van der Dussen has received a lot of pressure from the media and fans for failing to score big runs in the Test series; he failed to score a fifty in the series but saw South Africa through difficult periods in both Test wins (in Joburg & Cape Town) and led the team to a historic win in Newlands.  

Questioned whether he should play over the in form youngsters, namely Zubayr Hamza & Kyle  Verreynne, Proteas captain Temba Bavuma & the selectors put his Test form aside and took into consideration all he has done for the team in his ODI career by showing faith in him and selecting him in the starting XI for the first ODI. He walked to the crease with the score reading 68-3, the Proteas clearly in trouble, and turned the match around and produced a match-winning partnership with Bavuma.  

Rassie put to bed all the doubt and question marks that were hanging over his head by scoring an unbeaten 129 off 96 deliveries, a knock that included nine fours and three sixes.

The Coming of Age

We are seeing one of the greatest ‘re-building’ phases of a national team happening within the Proteas teams across all three formats. The transition phase started during the 2019 tour to India and it has been a long journey filled with heartaches and chopping and changing of faces in all three teams as the Proteas were in search of the next generation of players who would take South Africa forward. 

The Test team has found its number three batter in Keegan Petersen and an all-rounder in Marco Jansen, while the T20I team has found in Aiden Markram the muscle we so desperately needed, and now the ODI team is starting to look a gelling, complementary outfit with Bavuma and Rassie in the middle order. The pair piled on the runs and had India bowlers for lunch when they brought up their first 200-run-partnership in International One Day cricket.  

They’ve done it time and time again for the Lions in domestic cricket, but to see them do it in international cricket is a clear sign of maturity and a coming of age of two ‘late bloomers’. South  African cricket is by no means where we want it to be if you take into account the talent in the country, but we are nowhere near where we were when we toured India in 2019; we have improved immensely and its starting to look like the good old days are drawing nearer and nearer.  

The pair’s brilliant performances led South Africa to a 31-run victory. South Africa take a 1-0 lead in the series with two more games remaining. 

Proteas v India Fixtures 

2nd ODI at Boland Park, Paarl on Friday 21 January.

3rd ODI at Newlands Stadium, Cape Town on Sunday 23 January.

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