Temba Bavuma asserts commitment, unwilling to step down as Proteas skipper
After their departure from the 2023 ODI World Cup in the semi-finals against eventual champions Australia last week, several South African players returned home, including team captain Temba Bavuma and coach Rob Walter, who arrived back on Saturday, November 18.
Bavuma, who faced challenges with the bat, accumulating only 145 runs in eight innings at an average of 18.12 and a strike rate of 73.60, openly acknowledged his batting struggles upon returning home. Despite this, the 33-year-old highlighted his effective leadership skills throughout the recently concluded tournament, with South Africa securing victories in five out of seven matches under his captaincy.
“I’m there as the captain and I’m there as a batsman. I try to separate the two. 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?," Bavuma was quoted as saying by Daily Maverick.
Temba Bavuma addresses his struggles with form
Under scrutiny as the perceived scapegoat for the semi-final loss, Bavuma recognized his struggles with form and playing despite an ailing hamstring. While admitting he was not fully fit during the crucial match against Australia, the 33-year-old emphasized that there was no possibility of him sitting out the game. Addressing the criticisms directed at him, Bavuma asserted his commitment to the role of Proteas captain, stating that he has no intention of walking away from the responsibility.
“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.