Despite an average start to his career, Temba Bavuma has gone on to rise through the ranks to captain South Africa in all three formats including in the T20 World Cup 2022. He carries the disadvantage of short height and less power, but his excellent stroke play makes him among the best. He is a right-handed top-order batsman and has made quite a name for himself with his solid technique. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at his career and some other cricket updates.
Born on 17 May 1990, Bavuma grew up in Langa, a township near Capetown. He was introduced to cricket by his father at a very young age. He attended a prestigious private school in Johannesburg where he not only excelled in academics but sports as well. Later on, it was his talent on the cricket field that stood out. He was soon identified as a player with enormous potential.
Bavuma made his domestic debut with his home province during the 2008-09 season. He immediately established himself as an important player in the team and his performances eventually earned him a place in the Lions which is South Africa’s most successful franchise. Making his debut for them in 2010, he became quite a regular for them in future.
Bavuma’s breakthrough season came in the Supersport series. He amazingly scored 242 runs in 4 matches including a hundred. However, what caught the eye of selectors was his impressive form during the 2012 season. He scored loads of runs around 637 at a whopping average of 53 in his second Supersport season. In the 2013-14 season, he scored 714 runs at an average of 39.66 making him the 6th most run-getter of the series. After scoring loads of runs in the domestic circuit, Bavuma finally got a call for the South Africa A team and made his debut against Australia A in July 2014.
Temba Bavuma, impressing with his performances, made his international debut for South Africa against the West Indies in December 2014. He didn’t score many runs in the series but later in 2016, he scored an unbeaten hundred against England, making him the first black cricketer to score a Test century for South Africa.
In 2016, Bavuma got a maiden call-up to the ODI team in the series against Ireland. Opening the batting along with Quinton De Cock, Bavuma scored his maiden century. He was later adjudged as player of the match. In the second ODI against West Indies in 2023, Bavuma scored an impressive hundred. He went on to register his highest career score of 144 runs off 118.
Continuing his sublime form, the short Bavuma made his T20i debut against India in 2019. He didn’t score much but has been an integral part of the South African T20i team ever since then. He later captained South Africa in the 2022 t20 world cup but couldn’t score much except for blistering innings against Pakistan.
Although Temba Bavuma hasn’t been able to show his real talent in the T20 format except for a few innings, he has become an integral part of South Africa’s ODI and Test teams. He has captained South Africa in all three formats including in the WTC 2021-2023. He has captained South Africa in 25 T20i matches winning 15 of them while winning 9 of the 17 matches he has captained in the ODI format. Bavuma is currently the captain of the South Africa Test team.
Having won several matches for the South African team, Bavuma has been severely criticised for his slow start to the innings, especially in the T20i format. More often than not, he takes up a lot of balls in the early part of innings even on flat pitches. These things also reflect in his overall career stats with a miser strike rate of 116. Not only has he a problem with the strike rate, but he is also inconsistent with an average of just 21.9.
Bavuma has played over 56 Test matches and has scored 2997 runs at an average of 35 while having 2 hundred and 20 50+ scores to his name. In the ODI format, he has played 26 matches scoring 1150 runs at an average of 50 with 4 hundred to his name. Although having struggled in the T20i format, Bavuma has gone on to score 635 runs in 33 matches at a strike rate of 116.
For his outstanding performances, Bavuma has earned a few awards over the years. He was named South Cricketer of the Year in 2015 at the Cricket South Africa awards ceremony. In the same year, for his contribution to the Lions, he was named the Lions Player of the Season. In 2016, he received the Khaya Majola Cricket Week Player of the Tournament award for his performances in the under-19 competition.
Although a small career yet, Bavuma’s achievements have not gone unnoticed, and he has become a role model for aspiring cricketers, particularly black African players. Bavuma has spoken about the need for greater diversity in South African cricket and has called for more opportunities for players from disadvantaged backgrounds. He has also been involved in various community initiatives aimed at promoting cricket and developing young talent.
Despite facing several obstacles, Bavuma’s rise to international cricket has been an inspiring journey. He has remained focused and determined to succeed, grinding in the domestic circuit for his place on the national team. Eventually, he has since become a vital member of the South African side.
Bavuma’s achievements as the first black African cricketer to score a Test century for South Africa and captain the limited-overs team are significant milestones in South African cricket history. He has inspired many young cricketers from disadvantaged backgrounds to believe in themselves and pursue their dreams.
As Bavuma continues to lead South Africa in limited-overs cricket and strives to improve his game, cricket fans around the world will be watching closely to see what the future holds for this talented and inspiring cricketer.