Why the Proteas need Temba Bavuma fit and ready for big Cricket World Cup semi-final showdown

South Africa captain Temba Bavuma in action during a Cricket World cup match

Proteas captain Temba Bavuma is a vital player for South Africa, and the team will be desperately hoping he recovers from his hamstring injury in time for their Cricket World Cup semi-final against Australia on Thursday. Picture: Abhjit Adya/Shutterstock

Published Nov 13, 2023


Standing at mid-off or mid-on has become a norm for modern-day ODI captains. It allows for the skipper to be in constant communication with his bowlers while maintaining a full view of his field placements and the opposition batters.

In Temba Bavuma’s case, his agility and impressive pick-up-and-throw in and around the inner-circle, makes it a no-brainer for him to take the mid-off position.

The downside to this if you are Bavuma is having to chase after a crisply timed cover drive that pierces the gap between cover and mid-off, and that is precisely what happened on Friday afternoon when the Afghan opening batters helped themselves to a series of half-trackers from Proteas pacers Lungi Ngidi and Kagiso Rabada.

In one of his chases, Bavuma looked to have pulled a hamstring but continued to soldier on in pursuit of the ball, looking to cut-off the boundary.

History of hamstring hamperings

For a player with a history of hamstring layoffs, there were concerns that Bavuma would struggle to bat later on in the game and when he did bat, it was clear that he was in excruciating pain as a result of the incident.

“Proteas captain Temba Bavuma sustained a right hamstring strain during the match against Afghanistan at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Friday night,” a Cricket South Africa statement read.

“He was assessed by the Proteas medical team and showed an improvement overnight. He will continue to be monitored and managed by the medical team.”

At this stage of the World Cup, with South Africa bracing for a semi-final showdown against Australia at the Eden Gardens later this week, the team needs Bavuma more than ever.

His teammates know him for standing up when the chips are down and throughout his international career, he has made a name for himself as a performer when the team needs a batter to absorb pressure and fight back.

From his numerous partnerships with Quinton de Kock in whites where the pair rescued South Africa from spots of bother to relative safety, the medical team will have their work cut out to get the captain ready for South Africa’s biggest game of the year.


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