Temba Bavuma oblivious to criticism over Cricket World Cup showing

Temba Bavuma oblivious to criticism over Cricket World Cup showing

Proteas captain Temba Bavuma was seemingly oblivious to the backlash sent his way over the past few days since the team's Cricket World Cup exit in Kolkata, India.

South Africa were bundled out of yet another 50-over World Cup at the penultimate stage, with Australia advancing following a three-wicket victory as they chased down a paltry 213-run total.

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The skipper has been the subject of several hard-hitting opinion pieces from local media, while social media has been littered with strong-worded and condemnatory views from fans – but, upon arriving back on home soil on Saturday evening, he insisted he knows nothing of what's been said about him.

"I don't know what's been said," he answered when quizzed about the public backlash of his form and decision to play the semi-final despite his own admission during the toss that he was "not 100 percent fit."

"From a personal point of view, I'm there as the captain and I'm there, obviously, as a batsman, so I think for me, I've always tried to separate the two.

"I don't know what the metric is to judge if someone is captaining well – we won the most games (7) in the group stages than any South African team has won.

"We beat teams that hadn't been beaten in quite a while at World Cups, so what metric are we going to use whether the guy's doing his job as a captain?"

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Having tallied just 145 runs at an average of 18.13 runs per innings across eight appearances and not being full fit, Bavuma acknowledged he did not pull his weight with the bat.

"As a batter, I mean, that I'm not oblivious to. I wasn't pulling my weight from that point of view, but I guess you take a lot of confidence from the fact that I was involved in a lot of partnerships at the top," he defended.

"That's one of my roles within the team, and you had a lot of the guys who were, I guess, taking on that extra responsibility from a runs point of view."

While his form was already an issue of contention, carrying an injury into the semi-final also left many perplexed as to why reserve batter Reeza Hendricks had not been given a chance to step in.

"For me to step down in a World Cup, in a semi-final, that thought for me is strange. I'm not someone that's going to walk away from adversity, I'm not someone that's going to answer to calls from people shouting on Twitter [X] or Facebook," he said.

"Decisions that I make will always be for the betterment of the team, and I've always said from the beginning – me being within the team and having the responsibility as a captain, I'll only do it as long as the players feel that.

"This is a bunch of guys who have been with each other since 2020, we know each other through and through, we know what we play for, and if any guy stood up and said, 'Temba, you're not the man for the job,' then I'd happily walk away – not for the guy on Twitter or Facebook."

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