South Africa captain Temba Bavuma, although wary of the challenges posed by a fiery Indian bowling attack, feels the presence of five bowlers in Rohit Sharma’s side may be something that could be exploited at the Eden Gardens here on Sunday.
“They obviously only have five bowlers. They can be put under pressure if one of their bowlers is not on their day. But yeah, probably we respect their bowling attack a bit more than the others. We understand that we’re going to have to play good cricket for longer periods,” Bavuma said ahead of the top-of-the-table World Cup clash.
Bavuma, who was yet to have a look at the surface when the media conference got underway, said his side would look to field two front-line spinners if the conditions favoured a bit of turn. “If the wicket assists the spinners, you’ll definitely see those two (Keshav Maharaj and Tabraiz Shamsi). We saw what Keshav did the previous game (4/46 vs New Zealand). On the (Pune) wicket, it probably didn’t offer a great deal of spin, but he was able to be super successful. We saw Tabraiz Shamsi as well in Chennai… what he did coming off the bench (4/60 vs Pakistan).
“There’s no additional pressure on those two guys. They’ll just do what they’ve been doing, and we’ll back them all the way,” Bavuma said.
Stinging questions revolving around South Africa’s tendency to crumble during crunch situations have always been the underlying theme of the team’s pressers. Saturday wasn’t an exception when Bavuma was asked whether ‘the choker’s tag’ was something that had been discussed.
The 33-year-old seemed a bit irked by the query. He said, “If we come unstuck tomorrow, I don’t think it’ll be a matter of choking (sic). I doubt you would say that about India. You have two teams that are in form, and it’s just a matter of who breaks first and who’s able to exploit that weakness. We understand that there will be pressure moments within the World Cup. We’ll deal with them as best we can. But yeah, I haven’t heard that word come up as of yet in the training.”
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