Proteas seek to build momentum against Bangladesh as skipper Bavuma set to return
Temba Bavuma, who missed Sunday’s Cricket World Cup match through illness, and Heinrich Klaasen, who suffered dehydration, are both expected to take part in Tuesday’s clash against Bangladesh.
The Proteas take on a desperate Bangladesh team at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Tuesday — the same venue where they smashed England by 229 runs on Sunday.
Skipper Temba Bavuma did not play in Sunday’s mammoth win because of illness but is in with a chance of featuring against Bangladesh.
“Temba, he’s definitely improving,” Aiden Markram, who stood in as skipper against England, told the media on Monday.
“There hasn’t been a final call just yet on him. I think they’re going to make the call tomorrow. But he is at least in better spirits.”
Bavuma took part in Monday’s optional training session at the stadium.
Bangladesh are seventh on the Cricket World Cup (CWC) table, having won only one out of their four matches so far — a comfortable six-wicket win over Afghanistan in their opening fixture.
They will be desperate for a win against the Proteas to have any chance of making the knockout stage of the tournament.
Despite Bangladesh languishing — they were crushed by eight wickets and seven wickets, against New Zealand and India, respectively — Markram has promised that the Proteas won’t be resting on their laurels.
“We’ve all seen in this World Cup now that any team can beat any team on a given day and if you don’t respect that fact, I think the game of cricket can really hurt you,” he said.
“Tomorrow is an opportunity for us to take a bit of confidence that we took from England, but ultimately to try to replicate it. That’s the challenge and that’s what we’re striving towards.
“And if we bring the right attitudes and the right intensities, we feel we give ourselves a good chance. It’s never a guaranteed result at the end of it but it certainly aids us as a team to hopefully perform well.”
The last time South Africa played against Bangladesh in ODIs, at the start of last year, the subcontinent side beat South Africa 2-1 in a three-match series in South Africa.
“They’re a fantastic team. If you don’t rock up on the day and if your skills let you down on the day against a team like Bangladesh you will be put under a lot of pressure,” Markram said.
“That’s probably where we’ve got it wrong in the past. They bring a great attack that is well-rounded now. You can’t just say they’re going to bring fantastic spinners because their seamers have done a great job in the recent past.
“They’re a fantastic team and … it’s up to us rocking up here tomorrow, understanding what we need to do to get a good result and trusting in the process that the coach and the captain have been driving.”
Bangladesh are sweating the fitness of their skipper and star all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan who missed the clash against India through injury.
Heinrich Klaasen, who smashed an incredible 109 off 67 deliveries against England on Sunday, is likely to feature on Tuesday despite suffering from dehydration and cramps during his epic knock. Klaasen didn’t come out to field in the second innings.
“He’s good,” Markram said. “He certainly was a man down. The conditions were pretty brutal. He did a lot of hard work for us out there and I think it took quite a lot out of him.
“He pulled up nicely after the game. The body was really sore and he was quite fatigued. But he’s been trying to get treatment and rest yesterday and very much the same today in order to get himself good.
“But as far as I’m aware, you will do well to keep him off the cricket field. He’s quite a tough guy and he’ll be itching to go again tomorrow, I’m sure.”
The weather in Mumbai is expected to be as blistering hot as it was on Sunday. DM
The match between Bangladesh and the Proteas starts at 10.30am CAT.