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Temba Bavuma and Quinton de Kock

Bavuma expects "strong and competitive" India series ahead of T20 World Cup

South Africa skipper Temba Bavuma feels their upcoming T20I series against India will provide the ideal preparation for their ICC Men's T20 World Cup campaign next month.

The Proteas play India in three T20Is, with the first at the Greenfield International Stadium in Thiruvananthapuram on Wednesday. 

The games offers South Africa the chance to refine combinations and tactics ahead of next month's event in Australia, and Bavuma predicts an even contest between two world-class outfits. 

“We're expecting it to be a good series, a competitive one, as it always is when we play India," he said.

“The last time we were here, we were tested and challenged in all departments of our game and I think we answered those challenges quite well. So I expect a good, strong and competitive series.” 

The side played out a 2-2 series draw when visiting India earlier in the year, the only T20I series in the last six they haven't come away with victory.

The Proteas will be quietly confident heading into next month’s event, and their squad for 2022 is arguably stronger than last year’s campaign, bolstered by the return of Rilee Roussouw at the top of the order, and with the emergence of young batting star Tristan Stubbs.

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Bavuma is content with their overall progress as a team in the short form.

“We have guys who have been playing a lot of cricket and I guess we will be managing their intensity," he added.

“We also have guys who need some cricket under their belts. It will be to give those guys some game time because this is our last preparation in different conditions compared to Australia but still match time nevertheless.” 

The hosts are coming off a 2-1 series win over Australia, with veteran batter Virat Kohli among others finding form.

“As you would have seen in the last while their confidence has boosted the performances of the team," Bavuma added.

“We expect them to obviously come on and lead from the front, which is good practice for the team. It will be good for us to come up against their best. We expect those guys to bring a lot of confidence and X-factor into their team.”

South Africa play the winner of Group B from the First Round in their tournament opener on October 24.


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