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Faf du Plessis comes out in support of an under-fire Temba Bavuma

The Proteas Test skipper said that Bavuma is technically very good.

SA Faf du Plessis
Faf du Plessis. (Photo Source: Twitter)

When a captain, despite losing a Test match by more than 200 runs, uses the words ‘proud’, ‘we played really well’, you know where he is coming from. Faf Du Plessis looked disappointed but not despondent after the 203-run loss at Vizag. The South African went on to use the words ‘brilliant’ and ‘proud’ for the fight his batters displayed in the first innings of the Test match.

And, these words put into context, how mentally scared South Africa were coming into this series. The 2015-drubbing had played so much on their minds that even posting a total in excess of 200-plus – something South Africa achieved only once during the last tour- was considered an achievement. That South Africa played three spinners was also in tune with their scars of the last tour.

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The top-6 had to take it upon themselves to spearhead the unit. And, while most of them contributed in the first innings, Temba Bavuma and Theunis De Bruyn’s form left a lot to be desired. Bavuma, who came into this Test on the back of an unbeaten 87 in the practice game, registered scores of 18 & 0 across two innings, drawing the ire from both pundits, one of them was Herschelle Gibbs.

 

Du Plessis comes out in support of Temba Bavuma

Du Plessis, however, backed his deputy to deliver at the No.4 position, a spot he had relinquished after the retirements of AB de Villiers and Hashim Amla in a bid to spread experience all-over the line-up. Bavuma, whom Du Plessis hailed as one of the technically-established batters, went for a duck in the innings when his stump was castled by a shooter from Mohammed Shami, which Faf deemed as unlucky.

“Hash has gone now. Temba has played 30-odd Tests [37] but before it was Hash at 3, the younger batsman at 4, the experience at 5 and then Qunniy with his free-flow at 6. Now that Hash is not there, the reason why Temba is batting at No. 4 is that he is technically a very, very good player.

You might say his numbers probably don’t back that up but technically he is one of our better players and we know that. We are just trying to give him that backing that he deserves, the confidence to bat in a big position, at No. 4,” Du Plessis was quoted as saying in Cricbuzz. 

“We believe that he will get the runs. I thought he was very unlucky this innings, getting two balls for a guy that’s two-foot one to get two that stay low it is very unlucky. He is batting really well, he batted very well in the warm-up game, so I have got a lot of confidence in him that he will come good. Even now, being the vice-captain, leadership will help him get some more runs for the team and he is going to be a big player for the Proteas going forward,” he added. 

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