World Cup: World Cup, India vs South Africa: Temba Bavuma’s time to step into the glare | Cricket News

KOLKATA: Cricket is replete with short men of tall stature – Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin Tendulkar, Aravinda de Silva to name a few. Can Temba Bavuma make this list?
Maybe not at this moment, but the unassuming South Africa captain could well rise in stature if his team can go on to win the World Cupand he makes at least one telling contribution in the remaining part of their campaign.At this moment, they are second in the list of favourites.
Sunday could be a good day to start for Bavuma, since South Africa will face their toughest challenge so far. If they have been good in the tournament so far, India have been better, as Bavuma himself acknowledged as the side prepares to face the home side’s pace battery up front and the spinners in the middle.”You don’t get too many bad balls from (Jasprit) Bumrah, (Mohammed) Siraj and (Mohammed) Shami. And then in the middle, Kuldeep Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja are doing pretty well,” he said.
“We need to have our ‘A’ game against India. We have to make sure we are not surprised by anything.”
However, it is his own form that hasn’t been the ‘A’ he would have wanted. The opener has been getting good starts but has failed to carry on. In fact, he has been associated with big partnerships, but only played second fiddle. Against Australia, for example, Bavuma and Quinton de Kock recorded a 103-run stand for the opening wicket, but the skipper’s contribution was just 35. That, incidentally, is also his highest in the tournament so far. A 28 against Pakistan and 24 against New Zealand wouldn’t quite make him happy.
“I have always wanted to make contributions,” he said. “I have been involved in partnerships, but I have been kind of scratching.”

However, his teammates believe a big one from Bavuma is just round the corner and they have been saying as much. “It’s great to have your team believe in you and I am taking a lot of confidence from that. We have been together for 3-4 years and we know we can handle the little challenges. As for me, I have to keep sticking to my process and keep preparing well, which I am doing. Hopefully, the results will take care of themselves.”
Bavuma, in fact, is like a calming effect amid the mayhem that South Africa are leaving in their wake. With the likes De Kock, Adrian Markram, Rassie van der Dussen, David Miller hammering away, the situation would be ideal for Bavuma to thrive in their shadows. Statistics show ODIs are his favourite format. The South Africa skipper could be just one innings away from stepping into the glare.

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