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Ken Borland


Results, and team-mates, kind to Bavuma

Posted on January 24, 2023 by Ken

Despite his own lack of form, results on the field have been kind to Proteas captain Temba Bavuma, and his team-mates have certainly shown their compassion for their skipper’s current struggles.

While Bavuma has scored just 17 runs in his last five innings, South Africa are now top of Group II in the T20 World Cup, and victory over Pakistan in Sydney on Thursday will almost certainly seal their semi-final place. They also have a match against the winless Netherlands, who are already eliminated, in which to qualify for the knockout round.

So the only likely change to the Proteas team for that Pakistan clash will be whether the second frontline spinner, Tabraiz Shamsi, returns to the starting XI.

“Every player goes through slumps and it seems worse when the games are so close together,” Aiden Markram said in support of Bavuma. “We’ve all been there and we all support Temba.

“We all know his important role in the team is not just about his batting. I think his leadership has been very good and he’s made some excellent on-field decisions.

“No one doubts his ability at all, we know he will come right. I’ve been there myself, more than once,” Markram said.

Although the door to the semi-finals has now leaned ajar for the Proteas after their delightful victory over India, Markram said they have learned to not get ahead of themselves.

“Being top of the log is a good thing, but we certainly don’t think we have one foot in the door. It’s going to be a massive game against Pakistan and then the Netherlands.

“We’ve seen in this Super 12 that any side can beat any team on their day. We just have to make sure we get better in each game, and that will give us the best chance of qualifying,” Markram said.

Bavuma is not the only captain under pressure at this World Cup, but his strike-rate this year is 77.22, compared to the 119.90 of Australian skipper Aaron Finch and the 115.59 of Kane Williamson of the Black Caps.

Tristan Stubbs has only scored 7 and 6 in his two innings at this World Cup, but the young man is coming in late in the innings and trying to hit boundaries. Considering his role and inexperience, it would be unfair to expect too much consistency from him at this stage, but if he does come off, then the results could be spectacular.

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