Managing the conversations in the change room has been the “biggest challenge” for Temba Bavuma in his nascent captaincy career as South African cricket deals with one off the field controversy after another.
The series win over India was badly needed for South Africa cricket which is going through administrative crisis and allegations of racism have been levelled against a few big names including head coach Mark Boucher.
Speaking to the media after completing whitewash of India in the ODIs, Bavuma said it is still early days for him as captain. He had taken charge in March last year.
“I don’t think it’s easy (captaining the team). There are a lot of dynamics that you need to manage. For me, the biggest thing is trying to keep cricket the main focus amongst the guys,” Bavuma said on Sunday.
“I hate to bring this up but it’s been a challenging period for the team, for the players, for particular members of management.
“There’s been a lot of scrutiny surrounding the team and surrounding the organisation, so to manage the conversations happening around the change-room and to ensure our energy is 100 per cent geared towards performing out there, for me, has been the biggest challenge.”
South African cricket has been hit by controversy with the team coach and former cricketer Boucher being accused of racism and being charged with ‘gross misconduct’ in the findings of the Social Justice and Nation Building report.
Bavuma, who scored a century in the opening match of the series and led from the front, said, “it means a lot as a player. Knowing I contributed to the winning cause makes it better.
“You will always be judged on your record and to convincingly beat an Indian side speaks a lot to my captaincy. But things are still early from a leadership point of view. I will take the positives but I will try very hard not to get ahead of myself,” the diminutive right-handed batter said.
Stating that he enjoys the captaincy, the 31-year old Bavuma said, “It seems to have brought the benefit of that showing in my own performances too.
“I enjoy the tactical side of things. There’s a lot of thinking involved. And that thinking extends to your own game too. I suppose I’m a bit more clearer in terms of what I want myself to do,” he said.