South Africa white-ball skipper Temba Bavuma believes that a series win in the ODIs against India will give his team a lot of confidence. He added that his main focus will be in sticking to the South African style of play and executing the strategies well.
After South Africa won the three-match Test series 2-1, the focus shifts to the ODI series starting from January 19 in Paarl. The last time India came to the Rainbow Nation, they won the six-match series 5-1 in 2018. It was also their first-ever ODI series win in South Africa.
"We will have to get things right in the next ODI series against India. I'm not too worried about what happened in that 2018 series. I'm more concerned about establishing our own style of play and implementing our strategy to good effect. A ODI series win against India would give us a helluva lot of confidence, and some momentum ahead of the games to follow," Bavuma was quoted as saying by 'Daily Maverick'.
Bavuma feels the image of South Africa's white-ball side is changing after the campaign in the 2021 Men's T20 World Cup. In the mega event in the UAE, South Africa had won four out of its five Group 1 matches, only to miss the semi-finals on the basis of net run-rate due to the loss in the tournament opener against Australia.
"Perceptions are changing about this South African white-ball team. In the past, it was said that we lacked the ability to take on spin and that we struggled in overseas conditions. I feel like we proved a lot of people wrong at the T20 World Cup. We've just got to keep building towards that next T20 World Cup in Australia, which will require another shift in mindset."
He thinks the ODI side with many new faces has got a lot to accomplish despite the series being cancelled against The Netherlands due to the Omicron variant of Covid-19. "The ODI side has a lot more to accomplish. There are some new faces in the mix, and some question marks over several positions. Unfortunately, we didn't get the chance to finish the series against the Netherlands this past December (due to the Omicron outbreak and resultant travel restrictions). It was a shame, as we viewed those three games as important to our process."
Bavuma signed off by saying the ODI side needs to derive the energy and good results from the T20Is to again be a force to reckon with. "Perhaps we should take heart from what the T20 side has accomplished in recent times. That team didn't place much emphasis on results, but rather on the process. We really came to grips with how we wanted to play. There was a lot of energy and intensity, especially with regard to our fielding."
"Then we start to win consistently. Since the beginning of the West Indies series last June, we've won 13 out 16 T20s. It's something we want to replicate across the formats. If we bring the same energy to our ODI approach, we will build more confidence and momentum, and the big results will come."
( 545 Words)