South Africa have plenty of positives to pick from the concluded ODI World Cup, where they were eliminated by Australia in the semi-final. The team finished second on the league table, producing commanding shows one after the other. Despite the good show, their skipper Temba Bavuma received a lot of flak for his captaincy, also his spot in the team.
Almost a week after South Africa’s exit from the tournament, Bavuma in an interaction with The Daily Maverick opened up about the criticism.
“I have said it from the beginning that if any of the guys stood there and said, ‘Temba, you are not the man for the job as captain,’ then I would happily walk away. These are the bunch of guys who we have been together since 2020. We know each other through and through, and we know what we play for. I am not the guy who is on Twitter or Facebook.”
Bavuma then pointed at South Africa’s run at the World Cup, where they won seven out of the ten matches they were involved in. Like India, who finished as runners-up, South Africa too were very dominant on both fronts barring their shocking hiccup against Netherlands. India and Australia were the other two sides, who defeated South Africa in the tournament.
“I don’t know what the metric is to judge someone if they’re captaining well. We won the most games in the group stage out of any South African team. We beat teams that haven’t been beaten in a while in World Cups so what metrics are we going to use to judge whether a guy is using the job as the captain?” wondered Bavuma.
If we look at Bavuma’s individual contribution, the Proteas skipper could only muster 145 runs in eight matches at an average of 18.13 and a 73.60 strike rate with no half-centuries. He missed two of South Africa’s league-stage encounters against England and Bangladesh with a stomach illness.