South Africa white-ball skipper Temba Bavuma has said that though England’s attacking style of play in Tests is high risk, their batters have executed the “type of play” very well to win four back-to-back matches against New Zealand and India.
As South Africa look set to take on England in the three-Test series beginning at Lord’s later on Wednesday, Bavuma, who has 51 Test caps to his name, also added that England’s new Test coach Brendon McCullum’s positive and attacking strategy had brought attention back to Test cricket.
“I think England’s tactics under new Test coach Brendon McCullum have been exciting. It’s really brought attention to Test cricket and has become attractive. Their batting strategy is high risk and credit has to go to their batsmen for being able to execute that type of play,” said Bavuma in his column for supersport.com on Wednesday.
“The anticipation and excitement is around whether they can do that against our South African bowling attack. England have batters who are in the form of their lives and are hitting the ball well, so it will be a good contest between bat and ball this series,” he added.
South Africa skipper Dean Elgar recently upped the stakes of the series, saying that England would have had “egg on their faces” if New Zealand had taken their opportunities in the three-Test series recently. “There was often parity between England and New Zealand (during the Test series) and had New Zealand taken their opportunities, and their catches, then things could have been very different. England would have come away with egg on their faces,” Elgar had said recently.
Bavuma said that the Proteas invariably go into any series as underdogs but knowing his teammates, he was sure they will be keen to return home with a series win. South Africa are currently narrowly leading the ICC World Test Championship (WTC) table and are in pole position to secure a place in the 2023 final if they do well in the series against England.
“In the white-ball format, we weren’t seen as the favourites but were able to turn a few sceptics into fans of ours. We haven’t had the favourites tag for quite a while now which has allowed us to do our thing silently and let the results speak for themselves. When it comes to the Test format, I honestly don’t see it any differently. I don’t think we are seen as the contenders but knowing my teammates, they’ll be keen to change that narrative,” added Bavuma.