India series a stepping stone for South Africa as Bavuma and co prepare for WC
- South Africa and India will play a five-match T20 series, starting June 9
- Protea skipper Temba Bavuma wants the team to take this opportunity to prepare for the World Cup
- India will be led by KL Rahul, with Rishabh Pant his deputy
Protea skipper Temba Bavuma said that he sees the India series as an opportunity for the team to prepare for the upcoming T20 World Cup, which will be held in Australia in October-November.
South Africa couldn't make it to the knock outs in the T20I World Cup last year. They finished third on the Group A points table with eight points, same as second-placed Australia but with an inferior run rate.
"The conditions in India don't accurately simulate conditions in Australia. In saying that, there's still a lot of benefit from playing. Any type of competitive cricket will be good for us," Bavuma said during a virtual media interaction.
The visitors announced their squad last month. Mumbai Indians star Tristan Stubbs was included. Batters Reeza Hendricks and Heinrich Klaasen earned recalls.
"We'll be using these games really to familiarise ourselves again with how we go about playing cricket. Getting that right language that we speak amongst ourselves, really getting guys understanding what their roles are within the team," the South African skipper continued.
One major task for the Protea management is to find an opening partner for Quinton De Kock. Faf du Plessis, who batted at the position previously, retired.
"We've got a couple of new faces within the T20 space. Opportunities will be given to those guys to see what role they can play and what value they can add to the team," Bavuma added.
India will be led by KL Rahul, with Rishabh Pant his deputy. The likes of regular skipper Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Jasprit Bumrah rested for the series.
"It's obviously a new-look Indian side. A lot of guys who have done well in the recent IPL have been given opportunities. From us as a team we wouldn't be looking at it any differently," Bavuma said.
"We don't really see it as taking on a ‘B’ side. We have played against the Indian T20 side. So, going into the game, we'll still be as motivated as ever. The competitiveness will be there," he added.