Temba Bavuma: India not unbeatable

The South African batsman admits a phase of poor batting cost his side the second T20 contest against India.

Temba Bavuma scored 49 for South Africa in the second T20I on Wednesday. Photo: Akhilesh Kumar

Taking responsibility surely comes easily for a not-so-young T20 debutant Temba Bavuma. Minutes after South Africa’s seven-wicket defeat in the second T20 match here, the 29-year-old minced no words in owning responsibility for the team’s sub-par total on a good batting surface.

Coming in at No. 3 in the fourth over, Bavuma looked good until he failed to rotate the strike in the later part of his innings and eventually departed for a 43-ball 49 in the 18th!

“When David [Miller] came in at No. 5, I think in the 13th over, we were in a very strong position. That’s where we probably fumbled a bit in our batting cause. At the halfway stage, I was thinking 180 at least — that could be a very competitive score. But yeah, we just weren't able to get going. I’m the one to be blamed. I wasn’t really able to get the momentum. I thought the platform was really set for the boys to go and do their thing.”

A tinge of regret was hard to miss in Bavuma’s voice when he pointed out, “From the 12th over to about the 16th, is when we, I’d like to think, lost the game in our batting. If we were able to keep up the intensity there, I don’t think we would have ended up with a score of 150.”

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Talking about the Indian team, the first black African to score to Test century for South Africa said, “They’re a formidable team but I don’t think they’re not an unbeatable side. With our batting, it was just one phase where we let ourselves down and a quality side like that would make us pay.”

Looking ahead, Bavuma said, “I think there’s always a moment in the game where we can win. For us, it’s more about being aware of those moments and making sure we’re in the right mental space to win those moments. It’s something that we can work on. I don’t think we were completely outplayed in the game. There are a lot of positives that we can take forward from this game.”

Chahar: I take every match as my last

Deepak Chahar, who impressed with figures of 4-0-22-2 after three overs in the Power Play, revealed, “I find it easy to bowl death overs because, in the Power Play, you only get two fielders outside the circle. However, after the Power Play, you get five fielders outside.”

It may be recalled that in this year’s Indian Premier League, Chennai Super Kings’ skipper M. S. Dhoni made Chahar bowl his quota upfront in one spell. The Rajasthan bowler was quick to acknowledge the confidence got from IPL. “It benefited me. Whenever you do well in a match, you get confidence.”

Chahar, among the aspirants for place in Indian team for the 2020 T20 World Cup, said, “I take every match as my last match. At this time, Indian cricket is at the top and if you want to find a spot, you will have to do very good and that too, in every match because there is a lot of competition.”