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Bouncers don't scare short Proteas batsman

AAP logoAAP 31/10/2016 Justin Chadwick

Pint-sized South African batsman Temba Bavuma will probably crack a big smile rather than tremble with fear if Australia fall into the trap of peppering him with a bouncer barrage at the WACA Ground this week.

At 161cm tall, Bavuma is four centimetres shorter than Sachin Tendulkar, making him one of the shortest batsmen to ever play Test cricket.

Australian pace duo Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood will be licking their lips at the prospect of getting Bavuma hopping on what is hoped will be a lively wicket.

But the man himself is showing no signs of fear heading into the first Test, starting Thursday.

"The majority of balls I do play are off the back foot. So back-foot play does become so much more of an area of expertise," Bavuma said.

"And if they do start using the short ball, at least I know I've got some kind of advantage over them - they can't hit the stumps with the short ball.

"I'm expecting the unexpected.

"Here (at the WACA) is quite similar to the Wanderers (in Johannesburg). We played England there last year, and they never really tormented me with the short ball when I thought they would.

"Whatever comes my way, I'll be prepared for it."

Bavuma endured a slow start to his Test career, posting just one half-century in his first seven innings.

But his unbeaten century against England in Cape Town earlier this year sparked a solid run of form that has given Bavuma belief that he belongs at this level.

Bavuma now averages 39.75 over 11 Tests, and the 26-year-old is hoping to play a vital role in South Africa's bid to win a third straight Test series in Australia.

With star batsman and skipper AB de Villiers still out with an elbow injury, South Africa's batting line-up appears vulnerable.

Australia believe the Proteas will crumble if they can dismiss Hashim Amla and stand-in captain Faf du Plessis cheaply.

But Bavuma is confident the side possesses enough batting talent to share the load.

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