'Matter of time' for struggling Bavuma

Temba Bavuma (Gallo)
Temba Bavuma (Gallo)

Johannesburg - Temba Bavuma's fairy-tail start to Test cricket has hit a massive brick wall.

He has struggled immensely ever since the 74 he scored against Australia back in November when the Proteas won the second Test and the series against Australia in Hobart. 

Since then, he has scored just 50 runs in 7 innings at an average of just over 7. 

In the ongoing series against Sri Lanka, he has scored 21 runs in 5 knocks at just over 4. 

His Test average has dipped to 30 - it was over 40 at one stage in Australia - and the 26-year-old is having a nightmare run. 

With the return of AB de Villiers looming large - he may be available for March's three-Test series in New Zealand - Bavuma was desperate for runs when he walked to the Wanderers wicket on Friday. 

There was no scoreboard pressure on him with the Proteas sitting comfortably at 364/5, but it was not to be. 

Bavuma looked to drive his second ball, a wide one from Nuwan Pradeep, but he could only edge to Kaushal Silva at slip. 

It was Bavuma's second duck in as many innings and it came less than 24 hours after JP Duminy had been dismissed for a majestic 155. 

Duminy was considered the other player in this top order in danger of losing his place to De Villiers, but that picture has surely changed now. 

Speaking after the second day's play at Wanderers on Friday, Duminy was full of support for his team-mate. 

"Just keep it simple," was Duminy's advice.

"We know that his team-mates back him and a big score is just around the corner.

"I remember sitting in a Port Elizabeth press conference and you asked me the same question about Hashim (Amla)."

Duminy was referring to a similar question that had been directed his way during the first Test against Sri Lanka when he was asked to comment on Amla's lack of form.

"It’s a matter of time before things turn around, and everybody in their career goes through dips," Duminy continued.

"We certainly back him - he’s a great player, and he’s shown that many times."

Day three of the third Test on Saturday will see Sri Lanka resume on 80/4, still 346 runs behind South Africa's first innings score of 426.

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