Bavuma reveals 'emotional rollercoaster' of pressure, praises new coach Conrad after Bloem heroics

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South African batter Temba Bavuma
South African batter Temba Bavuma
Lee Warren/Gallo Images
  • Proteas skipper Temba Bavuma says he tried to be brave during his gritty and match-winning ODI century against England in Bloemfontein on Sunday.
  • Bavuma scored 109 to help steer South Africa to a five-wicket win and seal the three-match ODI series.
  • Bavuma admits that speaking to caretaker ODI coach Shukri Conrad helped him get over his rut mentally.

Proteas skipper Temba Bavuma said he needed to be brave as he fought mentally and physically for his third ODI century against England in Bloemfontein on Sunday.

Bavuma notched up a superb century to steer the Proteas to a five-wicket win to seal the three-match series 2-0 against England with one to play.

Chasing 343 for victory, Bavuma shared a 77-run opening stand with Quinton de Kock (31) and a 97-run partnership with Rassie van der Dussen (38).

Bavuma, who was battling severe cramps during his innings, went on to score 109 off 102 balls (hitting 14 fours and a six) before Sam Curran bowled him.

"I was seeing the ball quite nicely and I was just trying to score within my areas," Bavuma told reporters on Sunday.

"Obviously, I took a couple of chances that didn't come off, but I tried to be as brave as I could in terms of how I played."

READ | King Bavuma! Reliving Proteas' famous day in Bloem after epic chase

The Proteas white-ball skipper had been under-fire after his sub-par performances over the summer and his subsequent snub from the SA20.

Before the second ODI at Mangaung Oval, Bavuma had gone 33 innings without a hundred to his name acros all formats.

Bavuma admits that he could not have gotten over the triple-figure if he had not spoken to Proteas current ODI caretaker coach Shukri Conrad.

"It's obviously been an emotional rollercoaster the last couple of months, and I guess for me, it was just being vulnerable to the coach, telling him where I see myself and how I feel about everything," Bavuma told reporters on Sunday.

"It helps that I've worked with Shukri (Conrad) before and he helped me cut through all the nonsense happening in my head and made sure that I was mentally there for the game.

"I think being out of action for the last two weeks, being at home and being away from the game, I think that's also helped me from a mental point of view," said Bavuma.

"Being as fresh as I can physically, probably not in the best shape, but mentally I felt that I've been good. People always talk about self-reflection and I went through that process.

"I've been more open towards the team and how we like to go about it and for me, there's a feeling of whatever's going to happen, it'll happen."

The Proteas have already taken an unassailable 2-0 lead in three-match ODI series against the reigning World Cup champions.

Wednesday's final ODI starts at 13:00.

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