Proteas wicketkeeper-batsman de Kock was a shock omission from the South African XI for Tuesday’s eight-wicket win over the reigning champions.
Bavuma revealed at the coin toss de Kock made himself unavailable for personal reasons, which Cricket South Africa (CSA) later elaborated on.
CSA had announced on Monday all players would “take the knee” prior to the game in solidarity against social injustice and racism.
“Cricket South Africa has noted the personal decision by South African wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock not to ‘take the knee’ ahead of Tuesday’s game against the West Indies,” CSA said in a statement on Tuesday.
“All players had been required, in line with a directive of the CSA board on Monday evening in a united and consistent stance against racism. The Board will await a further report from team management before deciding on the next steps.”
The decision has divided opinions and Bavuma tried not to be drawn into the debate after the game.
“As a team we are obviously surprised and taken aback by the news,’’ Bavuma said. “Quinton is an adult. He’s a man in his own shoes.
“We respect his decision. We respect his convictions. I know he will be standing behind whatever decision he has taken.
“I don’t know how it’s going to develop. It wouldn’t be my decision whether to replace Quinton or get a substitute. That would be probably the coach and the selectors.
“But as far as we stand, Quinton is still one of the players. He’s still one of the boys, so whatever support that he needs, whatever shoulder that he requires from his teammates, we’ll be there for him.”
South Africa’s next match is against Sri Lanka on Saturday.