Bavuma not 100% fit, but confident he will play in Proteas-Oz semifinal
While the hamstring strain he picked up last Friday against Afghanistan has still not healed completely, Temba Bavuma is confident he'll be able to play in Thursday's World Cup semifinal against Australia.
“Physically I feel all right but obviously not 100%,” he said at his prematch media briefing on Wednesday. “Today is important in terms of a decision about tomorrow. I am quite confident, but it is not a unilateral decision that will be made.”
Bavuma took part in an optional training session for the Proteas on Wednesday afternoon. It appears there are concerns about his ability to get through 50 overs of fielding.
Bavuma is one of the team's best fielders and his explosiveness, is a critical factor in that department. “Today it's just about continuing with my rehab, which I will do on the field.”
Bavuma has had several stints with Proteas physiotherapist Sizwe Hadebe and has trained every day this week, as his fitness is assessed alongside, most importantly, his recovery. The Proteas will name the starting XI internally at a team meeting on Wednesday night.
“Honestly I'm a bit nervous about the game, it will be our first semifinal as a team,” Bavuma said.
Only Quinton de Kock and David Miller have experience of a World Cup semi when they were part of the team that lost dramatically to New Zealand in Auckland in 2015.
“There is a sense of calmness in the team, but also the normal level of anxiety you'd expect before a big game,” Bavuma said.
As was the case when South Africa faced India here two weeks ago, Bavuma said he was in favour of starting both of his front-line spinners, Keshav Maharaj and Tabraiz Shamsi.
“Because of the conditions here and the opposition, that option is one for us to consider. I think it will be about finalising which of the three seamers we want to play.”