Proteas Bavuma

Temba Bavuma in action for the Proteas. Photo: EPA/RICHARD WAINWRIGHT

Proteas star: Critics are ‘shallow in their view’ of Bavuma

Teammate Rassie van der Dussen has come out to bat for Temba Bavuma after the criticism he endured at the Cricket World Cup.

Proteas Bavuma

Temba Bavuma in action for the Proteas. Photo: EPA/RICHARD WAINWRIGHT

Ultimately, Bavuma enjoyed a Cricket World Cup to forget with the bat as he scored 145 runs in eight innings in India, and he became the obvious scapegoat when he admitted just prior to the semi-final against Australia that he wasn’t 100% fit.

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When he was then dismissed for a duck in the World Cup semi-final, it sent social media into meltdown following persistent criticism that the captain was not fit or in form.

As the dust settles on that campaign, teammate Rassie van der Dussen has called out critics in an interview with Independent Media.

“As a team it never affected us at all. There were no doubts in our minds that Temba needs to be in the team and is the captain, just on that basis alone the value that he adds is humungous,” said Van der Dussen.

“If you look at the stats of this year, Temba still averages 50. If you’re judging a player, you judge them over a period of time and not just a certain few innings in the World Cup for an example.

“I think people are a bit shallow in their view. Obviously, you want all the guys doing well, but realistically that’s not going to happen too often, that’s why you have to function as a unit.”

ALSO READ: “They wanted Bavuma to be the Kolisi of cricket”  – fans react after Proteas WC exit

Meanwhile, in a powerful interview upon the team’s arrival back in South Africa after that defeat to the eventual champions, Bavuma himself provided an eloquent answer that you simply have to watch.

View the Temba Bavuma interview below

ALSO READ: “I am not someone to walk away from adversity” – Temba Bavuma

Accountability across the board

Bavuma did accept he was not at his best. 

“As a batter I am not oblivious I was not pulling my weight from that point of view, but we take a lot of confidence from the fact that I was involved in partnerships at the top. Partnerships are one of my roles in the team and you had a lot of guys who were taking on that extra responsibility from a runs point of view.

“For me to step down in a World Cup semifinal, that thought is strange. I am not someone who is going to walk away from adversity, I am not someone who is going to answer to calls from people shouting on Twitter or Facebook. Decisions I make will always be for the betterment of the team. 

“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.

“Yes, I was not 100%, but if you know anything about professional cricket you will know guys don’t play cricket at 100% all the time. I have played games for the country with broken fingers and done well. 

“People have never questioned [when] I have played series with a groin injury and done well. So for that to be used as an excuse for the [reason] of our exit at the competition is crazy, with all due respect. 

“I think there are a lot of positives that this group has achieved. There are a lot of good things I have done too as a player. When you start throwing stats around, let’s put things into perspective. 

“Even you guys asking these questions, I should also make that clear: you can’t go and read something on social media and make it a headline. I would never consider stepping down in a semifinal — that I would never consider.”

ALSO READ: Cricket World Cup: Proteas eliminated by Australia