Bavuma not interested in 'sideshows' as Kohli prepares for 100th T20I innings
Fit-again captain Temba Bavuma is not interested in "sideshows" as he prepares to lead South Africa in a three-match Twenty20 International series against India.
Bavuma has not played for his country since suffering an elbow injury during a T20I series in India three months ago which ended 2-2.
The batter has since spoken of feeling "let down" after he was not selected for the inaugural SA20 auction this month.
Questions have been asked over Bavuma's credentials in the shortest format less than a month before the T20 World Cup in Australia begins.
The Proteas skipper is ignoring such "distractions" ahead of the opening T20I against the top-ranked side in the world at Greenfield Stadium in Thiruvananthapuram on Wednesday.
He said: "I've tried to put all those things behind me. My biggest focus is on the role that I have, which is to lead and serve the team as best as I can, make sure that the guys are in the best place possible going into that big World Cup tournament.
"All other distractions, all other sideshows, that's stuff that I'll deal with on a personal level, but now, here, being within the team, as long as I'm still wearing that shirt, it will be to lead and serve the team as best as I can."
Bavuma added: "This is our last series before the World Cup. Obviously we will be looking for this series to fill whatever gaps we feel there are in the team. We have guys who have been playing a lot of cricket and I guess we will be managing their intensity.
"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 last time we were here, we were tested in all departments of our game and I think we answered well."
South Africa have beaten England and Ireland since drawing with India, who come into this series on the back of a 2-1 triumph over Australia.
The two sides will also meet in Group 2 at the World Cup in Perth on October 30.
Kohli to reach another landmark
Virat Kohli finally ended his long wait for an international hundred against Afghanistan in the Asia Cup this month.
The former skipper is set to bring up another century, as his next T20I innings will be his 100th. Kohli will be only the 10th player to be at the crease 100 times in the shortest format on the international stage.
Kohli has scored 3,660 runs from 99 innings, 684 more than the next best aggregate for any batter in their first 100 innings in men's T20Is (Martin Guptill – 2,976 runs).
Proteas enjoying life on the road
South Africa have won each of their past four completed T20I games away from home.
The Proteas have been victorious six times on tour in 2022. Only in 2021, when they won 14 times away from home, have they bettered that tally in a calendar year.