Temba Bavuma will have his first “live net” on Friday as he continues his recuperation from a fractured thumb he suffered last month in Sri Lanka. He expects to pass the fitness test and participate in South Africa’s first warm-up match, which takes place on Monday against Afghanistan.

“Every day, my hand is getting better,” Bavuma remarked. “It’s becoming stronger, and I’m becoming more at ease with it. Tomorrow will be the first time I will play a live net against bowlers, which I am excited about because it will give me a better idea of how far I’ve progressed. Everything is staying on track for the time being. I’d like to participate in the warm-up games. I’m in a terrific mood.”

External net bowlers are not permitted in teams training under stringent biosecurity circumstances, so Bavuma will have to play one of his own. It’s unclear who that will be, but it’ll most likely be one of the slower pace bowlers, such as Wiaan Mulder, or a spinner, such as Bjorn Fortuin, rather than one of the fast bowlers. Regardless of who runs in, Bavuma is focused on using the drill to better grasp what he can and cannot accomplish with his grip and ability to strike the ball.

“What I’m hoping to gain out of it is to become more at ease with my hand and what I can accomplish, as well as to accept what I can’t. I can’t say that I’m terrified or anything. It’s difficult for me to express any emotions. It’s merely for me to get some much-needed rest and examine my situation.”

If Bavuma can get through that session and the others over the next nine days, he aims to open the batting for South Africa alongside Quinton de Kock in the tournament. “My function is quite simple and straightforward,” Bavuma stated. “I am someone who will come in at the top, and if an opportunity to come in at No. 3 arises, I will take it.”

Bavuma believes the most difficult conditions will be in Sharjah, where South Africa will play two of their five group matches, similar to Aiden Markram. “It’s been quite intriguing seeing the games played in Sharjah,” Bavuma added. “Wickets have been a little more difficult, so players have had to think on their feet and modify accordingly. We have no idea what condition the wickets will be in. The wickets are likely to be a little worn out. The most important thing for us is to assess and adapt as rapidly as possible on the spot.”