Proteas

Bavuma backed to settle in No 4 slot

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Temba Bavuma (Getty Images)
Temba Bavuma (Getty Images)

Cape Town - The Proteas could look to reshuffle their batting line-up with Test skipper Faf du Plessis believing that Temba Bavuma should be given the opportunity to bat at number four.

This comes after the Proteas were thrashed by England in an embarrassing defeat at Old Trafford on Monday, which saw them lose the Test match by 177 runs and the Test series 3-1.

The ploy of promoting Quinton De Kock to No 4 did not work as effectively as the Proteas thought it would.

De Kock occupied the position left vacant by JP Duminy, who flew back home ahead mid-series after being dropped in the second Test.

De Kock, who has been a floater in the Proteas top and middle order, went to make scores of 68, 1, 17 and 5 at the number four position.

Du Plessis reckons that De Kock needs to move lower down the order and become as dynamic as England's Ben Stokes and Moeen Ali.

"The change with Quinton going in at four was to transfer pressure back on the England team and he is the one guy who can do that," Du Plessis told reporters in Manchester.

"He did that in the second Test with match-changing innings on a greentop but from a consistency point of view your number four needs to play the way the team needs him to play and Quinton plays the way he needs to play.

"In conditions like this, with the ball moving around, I think it's better for Quinton to come in at six or seven like your (Jonny) Bairstow, (Ben) Stokes and (Moeen) Ali."

Du Plessis is of the opinion that Bavuma is the best player technically to bat at number four and sees the Cape Cobras player as the long-term solution to fill the void.

"Temba is probably technically our best player along with Hashim Amla and myself," said Du Plessis. 

"I love what I see in Temba's character and he's going to be an important leader for us in the team."

Bavuma has been one of the standout performers with the bat in the Test series after scoring 257 runs in the four-Test series including a vital 52 to save the Proteas from a innings loss in the third Test at The Oval.

"I'm a big believer that, if you see that in somebody you give them responsibility to bring the best out in them," said Du Plessis.

"When he (Bavuma) batted at four he was our best player in really challenging conditions and that showed me that he has the capability of being South Africa's number four for a long time."

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