Bavuma wins toss, Proteas bat as rain hovers over Eden Gardens for semi
Temba Bavuma won the toss and chose to bat in South Africa's World Cup semifinal against Australia here at Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Thursday.
Bavuma, who admitted on Wednesday he still wasn't 100% fit after picking up a hamstring strain in South Africa's last round-robin match against Afghanistan, said his recovery “would have to be good enough” for him to get through the match.
The Proteas made one change to the team that beat Afghanistan, with wrist spinner Tabraiz Shamsi replacing Lungi Ngidi.
Both sides feel the dry surface will assist spin, and South Africa believe Australia are particularly vulnerable to the turning ball. Gerald Coetzee's retention in the starting XI is a result of his potency throughout this tournament in which he became South Africa's leading wicket-taker, with 18.
The whole outfield was under covers 90 minutes before the start of play with the ground staff anticipating rain that may result from a monsoon that is developing in the Bay of Bengal. The forecasts indicate intermittent rains throughout the course of the match.
Should a result not be possible on Thursday, the two teams will return on Friday. However, the forecast for the reserve day is much worse than it is for Thursday. In the event of the match not being completed, South Africa, due to their higher group stage log position, will qualify for the final against India in Ahmedabad on Sunday.
South Africa: Temba Bavuma (capt), Quinton de Kock, Rassie van der Dussen, Aiden Markram, Heinrich Klaasen, David Miller, Marco Jansen, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi, Tabraiz Shamsi.
Australia: David Warner, Travis Head, Mitchell Marsh, Steve Smith, Marnus Labuschagne, Glenn Maxwell, Josh Inglis, Pat Cummins (capt), Mitchell Starc, Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood
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