Temba Bavuma and Rassie van der Dussen injured, in doubt for T20 series against Pakistan, says Mark Boucher
CAPE TOWN - Adding injuries to the insult that was a home series defeat, the Proteas could be without their captain and their best batsman for the T20 series with Pakistan that starts at the Wanderers on Saturday.
Temba Bavuma injured his left hamstring while batting in Wednesday’s ODI series decider at SuperSport - a match South Africa lost by 28 runs, to give Babar Azam’s side, Pakistan’s second ODI series win in the country. “Temba’s quite a tough guy, so it’s always worrying when you see him hobbling around, and it looks like it’s only got worse in the changeroom the way he is walking,” Proteas head coach Mark Boucher confirmed on Wednesday evening.
Bavuma had treatment on the injury, that included having it strapped, and continued batting even as it appeared that between Boucher and physio Craig Govender, they wanted him to come off the field. Bavuma’s injury seemed to be a distraction for him and his partner at the time, Janneman Malan, with both being dismissed in the same over by Pakistan’s left-arm spinner, Mohammed Nawaz.
A lot of Bavuma’s rhythm while batting is created by his running between the wickets - a feature of his innings of 92 at the Wanderers on Sunday - and with South Africa needing to keep the scoreboard ticking in the last ODI while chasing 321, his inability to execute that part of his game, proved costly.
“I think he may have done something fairly bad, he seems to be in quite a bit of pain. It doesn’t look good unfortunately. It doesn’t put us in a good position for the start of the (T20) series, but these are the cards we’ve been dealt, so we will have to find a way.”
Just as bad was the news about Rassie van der Dussen, South Africa’s leading run-scorer in the series, who was a late withdrawal from the starting team - already without the five players who travelled to the IPL after the second match - because of a quad strain. Boucher said it would mean Van der Dussen could be out of action until April 15, which would put the right hand batsman in line to only play the last match of the four-match T20 series. “I’d be stupid to try and push him to play these T20 games, he’s staying with the squad and hoping for a quick turnaround - but it doesn’t look like he’ll be able to get on the park.”
Given the demands of the bio-secure environment - and the need for any new player coming in to have isolated and then be tested - Boucher said it’s likely the South Africans will keep some players from the ODI squad in the ‘bubble’ for the T20s.
As for Wednesday’s defeat, he put it down to SA losing the big moments. “In the last few overs today, we went for over 50, if we keep that to 25, then we give ourselves a good chance to win the game.”
“We’ve got a lot to work on, some of the senior players need to start winning games for us, I know they are trying really hard, but that is the way it is. Our senior players need to stand up, in tough times, in pressure moments and unfortunately that hasn’t been happening as often as we want it to happen. They are aware of that and will keep trying.”