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‘Stubborn’ Proteas skipper Temba Bavuma wanted to be out there for his team

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With a semi-final looming against five-time champions Australia next week, Bavuma insists he needs to be at the heart of the action as South Africa stand just two wins away from a maiden World Cup triumph.

South Africa’s captain Temba Bavuma grimaces during the 2023 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup ODI against Afghanistan at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Friday. Picture: Sajjad HUSSAIN, AFP

South Africa captain Temba Bavuma was hoping on Friday that his “stubborn” nature will help dull the pain of a hamstring injury as he plots a path to the Cricket World Cup final.

Bavuma made 23 as his team completed their group campaign with a five-wicket win over Afghanistan in Ahmedabad.

“My leg is sore. I don’t know the extent of it yet but I’ll have to be fine. I am stubborn, it will have to be fine,” said the 33-year-old Bavuma.

With a semi-final looming against five-time champions Australia next week, Bavuma insists he needs to be at the heart of the action as South Africa stand just two wins away from a maiden World Cup triumph.

I wanted to be out there for my team

“I could have not batted, but I want to be out there for my team,” added Bavuma who missed the wins over England and Bangladesh earlier in the tournament through illness.

“It was an opportunity to get time in the middle that I didn’t want to miss.

“Leading this team is so important to me, to marshal the bowlers and keep building that, so I felt it was the right decision to stay out there.”

On Friday, Rassie van der Dussen top-scored for South Africa with an undefeated 76, taking his total of runs at the tournament to 442 at an average of more than 55.

He admitted the injury to Bavuma was “not ideal”.

“He wanted us to chase, he wanted us in that situation and even though he was on a half a leg there, he was still keen to go up front and see off the new ball,” said Van der Dussen.

“That’s the type of character Temba is – he wanted to stay out there.”

When Bavuma was ruled out earlier in the tournament, Reeza Hendricks was promoted into the starting line-up and made 85 in the win over England.

“When he got the opportunity, Reeza put his hand up. At training, in terms of conditioning and in the gym, he’s been brilliant. So we know we have a really capable replacement if it’s needed,” added Van der Dussen.

AFP

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