Faf du Plessis believes Temba Bavuma can fill AB de Villiers’ No 4 vacancy.
The Proteas left for Sri Lanka on Sunday for a six-week tour in the subcontinent. South Africa had a great home summer, which included historic series wins over India and Australia.
But now the No 2-ranked Test side shift their attention to playing a No 6-ranked Sri Lanka side who drew their last away Test series 1-1 against the ninth-ranked West Indies.
There is not much change needed in the Proteas batting lineup, except a near impossible task to replace AB de Villiers who retired from all forms of international cricket in May.
Proteas skipper Du Plessis believes that Bavuma is the man likely to fill the void left by De Villiers.
‘No 4 will probably be a good position for him,’ said Du Plessis at a press conference on Sunday.
‘There will be some good discussions in the team. Obviously, when you go to the sub, the hardest places to bat will be in the middle because you come in facing the spinning and the reverse swinging ball.
‘So what I think we will discuss is that we will try and get our best players of spin in the middle periods to try and counter that. So if that gives an opportunity to change our batting lineup a little bit, we will definitely be looking into that.’
Bavuma played four innings in the No 4 spot in 2017. His average is 41.75, including a 71 against Bangladesh and 46 in his first ever game in the role, which came against England.
At a training camp in Pretoria in June, Bavuma was confident that he was the right man for the role, saying: ‘I will be opportunistic because there is a spot open for someone to come in at No 4 and I am putting up my hand for that position.’
The Proteas play Sri Lanka in a two-match series in July, with the first Test scheduled for Galle on 12 July.
Photo: Aubrey Kgakatsi/BackpagePix
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