Temba Bavuma likely to be a doubtful starter for South Africaís semi-final clash due to hamstring injury

by IANS |

Ahmedabad, Nov 11 (IANS) South Africa captain Temba Bavuma is likely to be a doubtful starter for their semi-final clash in the 2023 Men’s ODI World Cup after sustaining a hamstring injury in their final league match, which they won by five wickets against Afghanistan at the Narendra Modi Stadium on Friday.

Bavuma left the field after nine balls of the first innings, and returned four overs later but limped while fielding mostly at mid-off. He ran after the balls gingerly while fielding and hobbled while running as an opening batter, especially when it came down to taking singles.

"Obviously my leg is sore - don't know to what extent - but it's going to have to be fine (for the semi-final). Obviously I had that option of coming off, but I think as much as it was our last group-stage game, probably it didn't have a big bearing in terms of the play-off."

"But I still wanted to be out there with the guys. It was an opportunity for me to get some time in the middle (batting), so I didn't want to let that go. But also to keep leading the guys, keep marshalling out in the field, (and) keep strengthening those relationships with the bowlers. It was a bit risky, staying on the field - but that's what I felt was right at that time," said Bavuma after the match ended.

If Bavuma is unavailable to play the semi-final, most likely against Australia at Kolkata on Thursday, Aiden Markram will captain South Africa, an arrangement which happened when Bavuma missed matches against England and Bangladesh due to illness, while Reeza Hendricks opened the bating.

South Africa successfully chased down 245 against Afghanistan, comfortably crossing the line after a thrilling one-wicket win over Pakistan in Chennai. In other matches where they were put into chasing, South Africa had lost to the Netherlands and India.

"They say winning is a habit, so we want to take that momentum forward. We take a lot of confidence. Also, we did something a bit differently. Normally, the preference is to bat first; (but) we batted second."

"Well, we were sent in to bowl first, and to get over the line in that manner is going to put a lot of confidence in us. (There was a) lot of understanding as to how we can go about that chase. Fantastic knock by Rassie, who took ownership of that innings, and guys batted around him," concluded Bavuma.

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