Lungi Ngidi is still unavailable due to a back injury. Photo: Lee Warren/Gallo Images

LATEST: Ngidi set to miss second Test as Proteas hold ‘honest’ talks

Temba Bavuma believes the Proteas can bounce back against New Zealand, although Lungi Ngidi is unlikely to be available.


Lungi Ngidi is still unavailable due to a back injury. Photo: Lee Warren/Gallo Images

After losing by an innings and 276 runs in the first Test against New Zealand, which was the Proteas‘ second-worst Test defeat ever, the visitors will be desperate to produce a vastly-improved when they head back into action from Friday.


However, the word from the Proteas camp is that Ngidi is unlikely to be available after missing the opening match with a back strain, and it will be interesting to see whether Glenton Stuurman retains his place, or if Keshav Maharaj or Wiaan Mulder come into the starting XI.

This week Bavuma revealed how there had been some honest introspection from within the Proteas camp after a couple days off.

“The time off was for guys to reflect on their own performances, look at themselves and see how they can be better in the next game. We had that conversation in the team and from today onwards we have to look at ways how to be better,” Bavuma said.

“It was all around honesty about our performance and what we produced out there. A two-day Test match is not good enough. That is not the standards we pride ourselves on. We have to improve in all three disciplines: batting, bowling and fielding.

“I think it starts with those conversations. It starts with us being honest. Understanding that the performance wasn’t good enough. But at the same time it is about reminding the guys that over the last couple of months we have overcome a lot,” he said.

“The position we are in is not foreign to us. We know how it is to come back when our backs are against the wall. We know that feeling. We have the confidence to know that we have the character to know what it takes to do what we need to do.”

After the first Test embarrassment, Proteas Test captain Dean Elgar refused to be drawn on any suggestion that looming case of “gross misconduct” against coach Mark Boucher could have been a distraction.

The Proteas coach will face his misconduct hearing in May

Earlier in the Test, Boucher himself didn’t want to comment on whether the lack of energy from the Proteas might be a result of the off-field distractions, particularly considering some players are expected to testify on behalf of the coach.

“I can’t answer that for the players,” Boucher said.

“You know my stance on this; what is happening in my personal stuff stays personal, and there is a process that’s going on at the moment, and we’ll leave it at that.”