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Temba Bavuma

South Africa captain Bavuma's timely fitness boost

Temba Bavuma is recovering well from the broken thumb he suffered in Sri Lanka, with the South Africa captain to enjoy his first “live net” session this Friday.

Bavuma, who has been sidelined since South Africa’s first ODI against Sri Lanka in September, is hopeful of playing in the warm-up matches ahead of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup.

"My hand is definitely improving by the day," Bavuma said on Thursday. "It's getting stronger and I am getting a lot more comfortable with it.

“Tomorrow will be the first time I am having a live net, facing bowlers, so I am looking forward to that and that will give me a better indication of how far I've progressed. At the moment, everything is still on track. I am looking to play in the warm-up games. I am feeling good."

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While a welcome return, Bavuma’s awaited re-entry into the XI does present a new selection headache for the South Africans.

In Bavuma’a absence, Reeza Hendricks has been partnering Quinton de Kock at the top of the order with Aiden Markram batting at No.3

Bavuma is likely to return as an opener, leaving the Proteas with a difficult decision as to whether the simply shift Hendricks and Markram down a position or have to exclude one of them from the XI.

"My role is quite obvious and clear to me. I'm someone who comes in at the top," Bavuma said.

"If there's an opportunity to come in at No 3, I'll play in that spot. Reeza has batted quite well of late at the top of the order.

"But I'll probably partner Quinny (De Kock) and see who fits into the middle order."

South Africa play their first warm-up match on 18 October against Afghanistan and start their T20 World Cup on 23 October.