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News

Markram named SA's T20I captain, Bavuma dropped

CSA also roped in Duminy as permanent batting coach and Kleinveldt as temporary bowling coach for the white-ball set-up

Firdose Moonda
Firdose Moonda
06-Mar-2023
Aiden Markram at a photo shoot, ICC Men's T20 World Cup, Brisbane, October 15, 2022

Aiden Markram takes over the T20I captaincy from Temba Bavuma  •  ICC via Getty Images

Aiden Markram has been appointed South Africa's new T20I captain, while Cricket South Africa (CSA) roped in JP Duminy as the batting coach and Rory Kleinveldt as the bowling coach in the white-ball set-up. Markram takes over captaincy from Temba Bavuma, who has been dropped from the squad altogether for the upcoming home T20Is against West Indies later this month.
Duminy has been appointed on a permanent basis whereas Kleinveldt has come in only for the West Indies series for now.
Talks between new white-ball coach, Rob Walter, and former captain Faf du Plessis meanwhile proved unfruitful for now and du Plessis was not included in the T20I squad. This could change in the future.
Markram led South Africa's Under-19 side to victory at the World Cup in 2014 and more recently was at the helm of Sunrisers Eastern Cape, who won the inaugural SA20 title. He has also been named captain of Sunrisers Hyderabad for the upcoming IPL and Walter sees the national leadership as a natural progression for Markram.
"Aiden has shown himself to be a leader over a period of time now. Obviously, his most recent success for the Sunrisers [Eastern Cape] stands out so it seemed like just a logical progression into the leadership of the national side," Walter said at a press conference in Johannesburg. "He has been there before but I think he's matured a lot as a player and as a leader since then."
This is Markram's second foray into leading the senior side after he captained them in an ODI series against India in February 2018, in the absence of an injured du Plessis. Then, the captaincy negatively affected his batting and he scored 118 runs in five matches at 23.60.
As for Bavuma, who stepped down as the T20I captain to take over the Test leadership recently, Walter indicated the shortest format door is not closed to him. "It was purely a T20 performance-based decision," Walter said. "My job now is to work with him to get him back into the side. That'll certainly be one of our focuses."
Bavuma had a tough 2022 in the T20I format, and got into double figures only five times in 12 innings. He led South Africa at the last two T20 World Cups, in 2021 and 2022, and they failed to reach the semi-finals in both. Bavuma also faced criticism over his strike rate, which sits at 116.08 in T20Is and he was not bought at the SA20 auction. He got a deal with Sunrisers Eastern Cape as a replacement player later in the tournament, by which point he scored a series-winning century against England in a World Cup Super League ODI.
Walter was still in New Zealand at the time, where he coached Central Stags, and the ODI team was under the command of new Test coach Shukri Conrad, who introduced a more aggressive style of play which Walter endorses and will build on. "The way that you saw the ODI side play against England was how we'd like the team to play going forward," Walter said.
South Africa will play three ODIs against West Indies, starting on March 16, which do not count for World Cup Super League points. For those ODIs, South Africa have rested fast bowlers Anrich Nortje (who is also out of the second Test with a groin niggle) and Kagiso Rabada, but the duo will return for the following three T20Is. Fast bowler Gerald Coetzee and batters Tony de Zorzi and Tristan Stubbs earned their maiden ODI call-ups.
There is still no room for 19-year old batting sensation Dewald Brevis, who was the leading run-scorer at last year's age-group World Cup, and has experience in the IPL, CPL and SA20. Walter had indicated Brevis needs to bide his time before making the step up.
"He forms part of a category of young, exciting cricketers that are in the system. The job and the journey with him will be exactly the same as it is for the others in trying to find opportunities that are below the Proteas level to give him access to," Walter said. "The SA20 would have given him some insight as to the areas that he needs to develop in his game, along with many others. There's an x-factor that is exciting and now we just need to give him the foundations and the pathway to grow."
After the T20Is, South Africa will end the summer with two must-win ODIs against Netherlands in the World Cup Super League. If South Africa win both games and Sri Lanka win one match or fewer in their three-match series against New Zealand, South Africa will secure automatic qualification for the 2023 World Cup. "Hopefully the Blackcaps do what they need to do and and secure that series and then we still have to take care of our business," Walter said. "Everything else becomes irrelevant if we don't take take care of that first."
The matches against Netherlands take place on March 31 and April 2 and clash with the opening matches of the IPL. CSA's director of cricket, Enoch Nkwe, confirmed that the South African contracted players who are part of the IPL will be available for national duty before leaving for India. "As it stands, they are available," Nkwe said. "We have been engaged with the IPL and the BCCI as well, so the selected players will be available for the two ODIs."
South Africa's T20I squad for West Indies series: Aiden Markram (capt), Quinton de Kock , Bjorn Fortuin, Reeza Hendricks, Marco Jansen, Heinrich Klaasen, Sisanda Magala, David Miller, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Wayne Parnell, Kagiso Rabada, Rilee Rossouw, Tabraiz Shamsi, Tristan Stubbs.
Squad for ODIs: Temba Bavuma (capt), Gerald Coetzee, Quinton de Kock, Tony de Zorzi, Bjorn Fortuin, Reeza Hendricks, Sisanda Magala, Keshav Maharaj, Wiaan Mulder, Lungi Ngidi, Ryan Rickelton, Andile Phehlukwayo, Tristan Stubbs, Lizaad Williams, Rassie van der Dussen. For third ODI only: Aiden Markram, David Miller, Marco Jansen, Wayne Parnell.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's correspondent for South Africa and women's cricket