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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

‘Nobody is undroppable …’ but Proteas will give Temba Bavuma time to prove fitness

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Proteas coach Rob Walter says captain Temba Bavuma’s hamstring injury is making sufficient progress ahead of their crunch Cricket Cup semi-final against Australia at Kolkata’s Eden Gardens on Thursday.

Bavuma hurt his hamstring in the Proteas’ win over Afghanistan, and there was a real fear he wouldn’t recover in time for the Australia semi-final in India.

But he trained without visible discomfort on Monday and was due to have another couple of fitness tests as the week progresses.

“Monday was positive, he was doing a fair bit of training in different matters,” Walter said.

“Today (Tuesday) we will see again at training and taking it daily. We have seen a progression positively each day and that is awesome.

Walter added that Bavuma will do some high speed running and fielding to really test the hamstring. Bavuma came out to bat against Afghanistan despite hobbling badly, and the Proteas was to give them gutsy captain enough time to prove his fitness.

“We will hopefully make a call earlier than the morning of the game. In an ideal world I want to give him as much time to play for his country,” Walter said.

“We’re taking it day by day and will make a decision as soon as we can.”

Besides Bavuma’s fitness, there has been concern about his form, mostly on social media and some certain media publications.

Bavuma is the only batsman in the Proteas’ top six who hasn’t gone beyond 50 in the tournament as South Africa has cruised through the tournament.

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However, he has been one of South Africa’s best batsmen this year, with his runs helping South Africa qualify for the tournament and narrowly avoiding the lottery of the qualifiers.

“Temba hasn’t come up in the conversation of being dropped because of form, because he has been one our best batsmen this year,” Walter said.

“He hasn’t scored the runs he would have wanted to in the Cup, but every training he looks like he is close and every innings he looks like he is close. A good score is just around the corner from him.

“As far as being undroppable, nobody is bigger than the team. The same goes for everyone.”

@JohnGoliath82

Sport

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