Temba Bavuma speaks ahead of Australia vs South Africa Semi Final of the Cricket World Cup 2023

Temba Bavuma speaks ahead of Australia vs South Africa Semi Final of the Cricket World Cup 2023

Temba Bavuma speaks ahead of Australia vs South Africa

Reporter: Very much, and thank you very much for joining us and of course Temba as well. We’ll get straight into it. We’re going to take a couple of questions just from the South African press before we go to the wider room. Who would like to start us off there? Talbert Good.

Reporter: How’s the Temba? How’s it been quite a few days for you? How’s the hamstring and how’s just your state of mind?

Temba Bavuma: Physically I feel all right. Not a hundred percent. So obviously this day becomes important in terms of decisions about tomorrow. I’m quite confident, but it’s not a unilateral decision that will be made. And then state of mind, obviously a bit nervous of the game.

It’ll be our first and we found nails a team, but I think the feeling is no different. I guess from any game that we’ve encountered within the World Cup. So, okay. Thank, you for those.

Reporter: Temba, when you say not a hundred percent, can you just say what it is that maybe doesn’t feel a hundred percent? I mean, we know it’s the hamstring, but what, what do you need to do today to feel like, to get that tick and to be able to play tomorrow?

Temba Bavuma: I think it’s just using the rest day. Continue with my rehab. I’ll still be, continuing with my rehab today on the field, doing some fielding stuff. Yeah, I can’t tell you medically, but I think for me, from a feeling point of view, that’s what I can attest to. Gonna Go, Neil, then Neil, if you’ll pass the mic in the back and then we’ll go.

Reporter: Tim, I’m over here. In terms of the state of mind collectively, with the squadron, the players, and your team, do you have any plans for this evening? Are you gonna sort of knock on doors and hug everyone, or are you just gonna leave them, to do their own thing and prepare in their way?

Temba Bavuma: So most of the guys have opted, to take the option with optional training today. So I think from a skill point of view, from a physical point of view, guys are quite confident from their point of view.

We’ll have our normal evening team meeting where the team will be announced. I’m sure there’ll be conversations that happen there within that meeting around the equation, I mean around the occasion of tomorrow. But, I honestly don’t anticipate it to be any different. There’s a sense of calmness within the team and a normal level of anxiety that you would expect.

I’m going to the game tomorrow. But I think we’ll take a lot of confidence, confidence, with our performances up until this point. But yeah, I don’t think I’ll be going around giving guys hugs. No, Janice, please do.

Reporter: Hi Timba. Can you, I’m just in the back. Yeah. For you, we know it’s not yet a hundred percent that you’re gonna play, but can you just speak from, from your point of view, what it would mean for you and everything you’ve gone through in your career to lead South Africa on the field in a World Cup semifinal?

Temba Bavuma: Yeah, it would be massive. I’ve tried not to allow myself to get into that space. You want to treat it as just another game, but I guess you’re forcing me to acknowledge that occasion. It’s something that I will, I’ll be looking forward to. It’s something that I’ll savior in that moment, with that opportunity. I know it’ll mean a lot for the family and people back home.

And it would be nice to be having another press conference with you guys on the 18th of November. But yeah, try not to get too much into that, into all those emotions. Let’s see it as just another game.

Reporter: Hi, Timbo back here. Just on the composition of your team, the last time you guys played, you went with the two frontline spinners, did the condition suggest that you do that you do same, and you know, uncle, when will you leave that before making a decision?

Temba Bavuma: Yeah, I mean, I’m allowed to say, I mean, if it is up to me, I’m playing our two frontline spinners. Kesha and Chasis, we have Aiden as well, who’s more, who’s also gives us an option there. Then I think it’s just finalizing in terms of the three seamen who that may be. But I mean, like you say, conditions, opposition as well. Give us that as an option for us.

Reporter: Alright. Timba, I know every semi-final South Africa played in over the years is important, but do you sort of like get a sense that this one is also perhaps one of the more significant ones symbolically as well?

You guys have been credited with creating a really good team environment, a good team, and also like, given the adversity you guys had to go through, to effect this turnaround basically in nine months, you know, is significant. So, is this like truly symbolically one of the more significant, you know, semifinals, do you believe in South African cricket?

Temba Bavuma: I guess they’re all important, the semifinals. I think like you said, with the way we performed as a team, it’s created a lot of positive sentiment but higher expectations. A lot of people believe that this could be the year that we see ourselves in the final.

And I mean, look, as a team individually, we’d like nothing better than that. But we also respect the game of cricket. You know, we’re not coming against a Mickey Mouse team. Australia has a lot of experience and confidence in knockout games like here.

So we’ve gotta respect that. I’d hate to say that we deserve to go through because of the way we played our cricket. I don’t think that’s the way things go. But I think, yeah, from our performances, from the processes that we’ve followed to get to this point, we’ll continue to lean on that. And we believe that will take care of the result in itself.

Reporter: Just gonna take one from the gentleman in the room. Hello, welcome to Gardens. There’s a little bit of shade of FIFA World Cup in this II World Cup. There was a race for Golden Ball between MB MBA and Mei, and here is the race between Rad, kid, and Ko. Where would you put these two players in terms of performance?

Temba Bavuma: Look, I mean, Quentin, he’s been magnificent for us. Being our leading run-scorer. I think at one point he was the leading World Cup scorer as well, so I think that speaks volumes in itself. Knowing Quentin, I don’t think he’s paying much attention to all of that.

I think his focus is really on contributing as best as he can within, the team. I guess the stats are always just a reflection of everything the guys do behind the scenes. Vera Coley, Vera Coley is an incredible player.

And again, he cemented himself as one of the legends within the game, so I’m not sure what is motivating him, but it being a home World Cup, he’d also like to bring it back for his people within India. And I think with Quentin as well, not sharing too much from his side, he’d like to leave with the bank.

Reporter: Hi Tim, you said you weren’t a hundred percent. First of all, just wondering if you could put a rough guesstimate on whether it’s 70% or 99% where you think you are with that hamstringing. And also you spoke about feeling a little bit nervous.

Have the other players spoken to you about feeling nervous themselves and what have you or the other senior players said to them about how to channel that or how to handle it?

Temba Bavuma: There’s been an acknowledgment of the emotions. I don’t think you can deny or run away with that. But there have also been solutions or mechanisms have been given as to how to deal with that anxiety if you feel that it overwhelms you.

And I think that advice also flows to the senior players. I think there are only two guys in this group that have gone into a semifinal, Quentin and David Miller, so there’s not a lot of experience from all the other guys.

But yeah, there’ve been that acknowledgment of those emotions as well as solutions and mechanisms. In terms of from a percentage point of view, I can’t give you, like I said, today is another day. It’s an important day and I will use it as best as I can to make sure that I’m close to my best from a physical point of view.

Reporter: Hi Timba, to the obvious privilege of leading your country in a semifinal, which you spoke about a little while ago, does somewhere pressure also sneak in given the fact that the runs haven’t come off your bat? And if it does, how do you deal with that going into what would possibly be a very crucial match for you and the team?

Temba Bavuma: The pressure is always there. I think every player feels pressure whether you’re doing well, whether you’re not doing well. It comes in different forms. I think for me, I must try to separate the two, being the captain and leader of the team.

Make sure that you’re doing that as well as you can. Trying to create calmness and belief within the team going into an occasion like this. And then there’s me being the batter, making sure that I’m close to my best. Yes, I haven’t scored the bulk of the runs within the team, got in quite a couple of times, and haven’t converted.

So I guess from that point of view, also knowing that I play a key role with Quentin up top, in terms of our partnership, we’ve been involved in a couple of 50-plus partnerships, so take a lot of confidence in that. I guess tomorrow my focus will be a lot on that, making sure that if you’re batting first we make sure we take care of those first turnovers, and then generally after that it’s about me as a batter, and if I can be ruthless. S

o I mean, the pressure will always be there. I think even if I, at this point was averaging 50 or whatever, I’d still feel pressure. But you have to go out there and deal with it.

Reporter: Amber, the spring box and inspiration to a lot of South Africans, and they recently won their fourth World Cup. I know you guys are also professional cricketers and professional athletes, but do you ever look up to them as an inspiration for what they have done and the mental fortitude they have, sort of get into cricket here?

Temba Bavuma: Definitely. I think to a large degree we look at them in awe, the spring box and how they’ve gone about their back-to-back wins within the World Cup. The way they won it this year with the knockout games being quite close, and again, how that resilience, how that do-or-die attitude came through.

That’s what we’ve been speaking about as a team, that when the crunch moment comes with the pressure moments come, we come together as a team and we find a way to get over the line. We also accept that it’s for us to control what we can control, what our story is within the Proteas.

We know what we’d like to look like. We want to be there on the 19th of November, but for us to do that, we’ve got to focus and deal with tomorrow as best as we can.

Reporter: Start. Last couple of questions, captain, one thing is captain, one thing is that last time, your battles that collapsed against India, especially against, so that time also the area of concern is spin because last, yesterday we saw you and your bats are practices against spinners. I mean more than one hour.

Temba Bavuma: What’s the question?

Reporter: What I’m telling you is the most area of concern this time, also the spin because you were practicing against the spinners most of the time yesterday.

Temba Bavuma: I think in terms of looking at the wicket, we feel that it potentially could be a wicket that assists the spinners a lot more. So I guess naturally, there’ll be a focus on our spin play. I don’t think there’s an insecurity or anything like that within our spin play as a team. We know we’ve played spin quite well, from whatever angle you look at it statistically or whatever.

So I think it’s just the guys covering the bases. Yes, the practice was long yesterday, but it was probably because guys wanted to take time off today and rather mentally refresh, coming up against Afghanistan, the challenge is gonna be the spin.

So again, naturally, guys will spend time polishing up their game plans, Afghanistan, and Australia a different challenges. So yeah, no insecurity I think lies there in terms of our ability to placement.

Reporter: Any further questions? One last one over there to wrap us up.

Reporter: Can we sing this time for Africa? Shakira Music?

Temba Bavuma: Can you please ask the question again?

Reporter: Yeah. Can we sing Shakira’s music this time for Africa? What’s the question?

Temba Bavuma: I’m not sure. I’m not sure. I think the stadium will play the song during the game. That’s, that’s where that song will lie. No.

Reporter: Thank you very much everyone, and thank you, Tim, for joining us today.

Temba Bavuma: Thank you.

Results

TeamRunsOversOutcome
South Africa21249.4Loss
Australia215/747.2Win

Details

DateTimeLeagueSeason
November 16, 20232:00 pmCricket World Cup2023

About Akshay Badwe

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