Moments before their departure to India, Proteas captain Temba Bavuma mentioned that the team has been speaking about being bold, fearless and positive as their search for the elusive ODI Cup trophy is about to start.
The Proteas boarded a flight to India last night to compete in the 2023 ICC Cricket Cup, which begins on October 5.
The last time skipper Bavuma and his men were at a Cup, despite it being the T20 version, they were humbled by the Dutch and exited in a way only South Africa are accustomed to at such tournaments.
The Bavuma that addressed the media upon their arrival back in South Africa late last year is not the same one leading the country to the 50-over Cup this year.
“The emotion that was attached to that day and everything that happened around it, I think that’s subsided from my side,” Bavuma said yesterday.
“I used that emotion as motivation, and really tried to forge a new way for myself within my cricketing career.
— Proteas Men (@ProteasMenCSA) September 23, 2023
“If I look back now, since that day things have been going well for myself, but also for the team. I was laughing about it. There’s no negative emotions or trauma coming back here.”
Most importantly, Bavuma has gained confidence through his performances in national colours since the T20 Cup, and his three ODI hundreds this year are testament of his growth.
But it hasn’t only been Bavuma scoring the runs or winning games for the country – it has been a team effort from all the players in the 15-man squad that will represent Mzansi in India.
Because of all the top performances the side have been able to put together, particularly during the 3-2 series victory over Australia this month, the players have more belief in each others’ abilities, and going to a big tournament, that is all any team need.
“The way we’ve been going about our business this year, it has been in contrast to what people have known us as a team,” said Bavuma.
“We spoke a lot about being bold, being fearless, being positive and always looking for moments to move the game in our favour.
“That’s what the guys have really challenged themselves and each other to go out and do in the field.
“Seeing the kind of performances the guys have put in has given us proper confidence in each other, and that belief that we will need for the upcoming weeks.”
The Proteas will play two warm-up games upon arriving in India, on September 29 and October 3 against Afghanistan and New Zealand respectively.