Cricket SA made the announcement on Thursday afternoon, thereby ending the brief tenure of Quinton de Kock, who started out as captain of the limited overs sides last season and was then made Test captain this summer. He however was a very reluctant captain, especially of the Test side, and following South Africa’s tour to Pakistan, was granted a “mental health” break.
Bavuma’s elevation to the captaincy of the limited overs teams, a fairly rapid change for him given that he wasn’t even in contention for a spot at the last 50-over World Cup in England in 2019.
“Captaining the Proteas has been a dream of mine for many years as those closest to me would know,”Bavuma said in a statement released by Cricket SA. “This is one of the greatest honours of my life so far and I am looking forward to picking up where Quinny (de Kock) has left off in leading the team into the new culture that we have developed and continue to work on.
“The responsibility of captaining one’s country is not one I take lightly, and I am looking forward to this new challenge and journey with Dean in the Test cricket format, as well as leading the team to not just one, but three ICC World Cups in the very near future.”
Not being part of the side’s plans for that tournament really irked him and forced him into a fundamental change in the way he batted, which in the last 18 months has seen him become a fixture in both the Proteas T20 and One-Day International sides.
“Temba has been a strong and influential voice in the team in recent times and has shown consistency on the field in all formats, solidifying his place as a leader,” said Cricket SA’s Director of Cricket, Graeme Smith.
“He also has the trust and backing of the players and coaches around him. We are excited to have him lead the Proteas in the upcoming T20 World Cups as well as the 2023 World Cup in India.”
Bavuma will also become the Test side’s vice-captain, the first formal appointment in that position in some time.
Elgar, 33, is currently the most experienced member of the Test side and has captained the Proteas twice – the first time at Lord’s in 2017 when Faf du Plessis attended the birth of his first child – and then again at the Wanderers against Pakistan in 2019 when Du Plessis was suspended. “He lost the match against, England, but won against Pakistan.
“I’ve always said that to captain your country in any form of the game is the biggest honour that a player can be fortunate to receive,” said Elgar.
“To captain my country’s Test team, which I believe to be the pinnacle of the game, is the biggest highlight of my career and I’m grateful for the opportunity to represent my country in such an important way.”
Elgar was among a handful of candidates for the job – including Bavuma – when Du Plessis stepped down at the end of the 2019/20 season.
“His role as a leader in the Test team has never been in doubt and I know that he relishes the prospect of captaining the Test team. We are confident that he will bring the same grit and determination to his captaincy as he has brought to his many performances on the field over many years,” said Smith.