Cape Town - Proteas opening batsman Dean Elgar is backing under-fire Temba Bavuma to come good after day one of the first Test against New Zealand.
Bavuma, who has only 17 Test caps to his name, was in need of some runs following a poor run of performances this summer after making 3, 8, 10, 0 and 0 against Sri Lanka earlier this year.
His last notable innings came when he scored 74 against Australia back in November in Hobart and since then the middle-order batsman has struggled to get to double figures.
Before the start of the New Zealand innings, Bavuma averaged 18.30 in his past six innings.
With the Proteas still recovering on 148/4 on day one against New Zealand in Dunedin, Bavuma showed his guts with a patient yet fiery unbeaten innings of 38 off 101 balls (7 fours) to steer the Proteas to 229/4 at the end of play.
Elgar, who shared an unbeaten fifth wicket partnership of 81 with Bavuma, says that he considers the middle-order batsman to be at his peak and backs Bavuma's personality to see him through the pressure of consistently performing.
"He looks like the best I've seen him in, possibly, his career so far," Elgar told reporters on Wednesday.
"Obviously this game brings pressure that you can kind of use to your advantage or you can fade away.
"His character is obviously someone who is going to take the pressure and use it to his advantage, which is great to see. That's the characters that we want in the side.
"He will always come good, because he is a good player, so he just has to bide his time and keep on doing what he has done today."
Bavuma (38*) resumes along with Elgar (128*) on day two of the first Test in Dunedin (00:00 SA time).