Temba Bavuma, the captain of South Africa, participated in an optional training session at Eden Gardens on Monday for more than thirty minutes, providing the team with a possible boost three days prior to their World Cup semi-final matchup against Australia.
After completing a few loops around the outfield, Bavuma engaged in some fitness drills under the close supervision of strength and conditioning coach Runeshan Moodley and team physiotherapist Sizwe Hadebe. He continued with some shuttle runs after that, picking up the speed as he went ahead and backward with each loop. Bavuma did not appear uncomfortable when sprinting, yet he did occasionally appear uncomfortable and hunched over with his hands by his sides. The captain of South Africa was observed sporting some strapping on his leg.
Bavuma padded up and shadow batted with a stump later in the practice, and then he had a long talk with coach Rob Walter. Bavuma entered a net and batted with a stump after seeing Rassie van der Dussen bat. He even moved forward to knock a couple of balls down the track.
According to a statement from the South African medical staff, “Temba’s right hamstring strain has shown good objective signs of improvement over the last 72 hours.” “We will continuously assess his progress through the management plan over the next few days towards giving him the best chance to play on Thursday.” Additionally, they made it clear that Bavuma’s work on Monday was only “part of the rehabilitation strategies of the recovery plan” and had nothing to do with a fitness test.
During South Africa’s league match against Afghanistan in Ahmedabad last week, Bavuma sustained a hamstring injury. After the first innings, he left the field after nine balls. He returned four overs later, although he was limping while he fielded, mainly at mid-off. Keeping in mind his duty as opening batsman, he cautiously chased balls and hobbled as he jogged to speak with his bowlers, but he did not go off again. Bavuma did not want to spend time off the field as he looked for his form because he could only bat if the same amount of time had passed or until at least five batters had been dismissed. Bavuma has scored 23 against Afghanistan and a tournament-high 35 thus far.
Bavuma had “shown an improvement” over night, according to CSA, which had stated on Sunday. He had also not been sent for scans, but they had not provided an official update on his status.
Aiden Markram is expected to captain South Africa in the semi-final if Bavuma is unable to play, much as he did when Bavuma was ill and missed the games against Bangladesh and England. Reeza Hendricks may start the batting.