South African batsman Temba Bavuma’s place in the national team has been a debate since the 29-year old made his Test debut in 2014. With Cricket South Africa having a reservation system that the national team should mandatorily field six players of colour, counting at least two black Africans, on average over the course of a season, Temba Bavuma has been a constant in the South African XI since 2016, despite his patchy form. Bavuma has admitted that frequently being observed through the prism of his skin colour has weighed on him and has requested for South Africa's transformation procedure to be recognised for its positives if it is going to be criticised for its failures.
Temba Bavuma has been a regular in South Africa's Test team for the past four years, but was injured for the opening Test match against England on Boxing Day. He recovered in time for the New Year's Test but was left out of the side for his lacklustre form, having scored only one century in his career. Bavuma was asked to work on his batting and return on the weight of his runs under the guidance of South African legend and new batting consultant Jacques Kallis.
Within two weeks, Temba Bavuma responded to the call for runs with a career-best 180 in a first-class fixture for the Lions. The innings allowed Bavuma to force his way into the playing XI for the Test series finale. He was also called up in the ODI squad and is likely to be part of the T20 side. He is the only black African batsman in South Africa's set-up, which is why his Test snub resulted in a major controversy. Temba Bavuma credited Jacques Kallis saying that the South African legend has been very open in sharing his expertise in batting while also giving Bavuma a breath of fresh air.
Temba Bavuma said that he took the snub from the team as an opportunity to reassess his own game, while reflect and realign his goals and strengths. Bavuma admitted that he is black, but he plays cricket because he loves the game. Bavuma said that he is in the XI because of his performances and not because of his skin colour or because of South Africa's transformation procedure. He further added that it is not a big deal that he got dropped as it is a part and parcel of the game.
Jofra Archer was subjected to racist abuse in England's tour of New Zealand late 2019. The incident brought to light that racism still exists and players of colour are victims to it. Jofra Archer is not part of the SA vs ENG tour after form deserted him post the 2019 World Cup high.