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Temba Bavuma Is "Elephant In The Room" For South Africa: Ex Sri Lanka Coach's Big Take

Former Australian player Tom Moody has labelled South Africa captain Temba Bavuma an “elephant in the room” after the Proteas’ exit from the T20 World Cup. While speaking on ESPNcricinfo’s T20 Time Out show, Moody said that the Proteas need to review their decision to play Bavuma at the top of the order after the team’s shocking defeat to the Netherlands.

“Without a doubt. That’s [Bavuma’s form] the elephant in the room. There are better form players for this format sitting on the bench that should be playing on that side. That will be a discussion, that has to be a discussion in South Africa’s review because you cannot afford to carry key personnel. Particularly at the top of the order. That is the critical point,” said Moody, a former Sri Lanka coach, on ESPNcricinfo’s T20 Time Out show.

Bavuma has scored 635 runs at a strike rate of 116.08 and an average of 22.67 in 33 T20Is. His performance had been questioned leading up to this World Cup. He only managed to score 70 runs in five innings at a strike rate of 112.90. In the crucial match between South Africa and Netherlands, Bavuma scored a run-a-ball total of 20.

After that, Moody compared Bavuma’s circumstances to that of Aaron Finch and Australia.

“They [Australia] had a similar issue. Once you have one wheel that’s not spinning like it should be spinning, it affects the direction you all go as a unit. That’s what was happening with South Africa. The rest were sort of covering up for a clear deficiency up top. We totally respect their situation and what they’re achieving and you have to admire everything that’s happening. But there’s another way you can make up to be more effective with what’s happening at the top of the order,” added the former Aussie.

The Netherlands staged a massive upset in the ongoing T20 World Cup at the Adelaide Oval on Sunday after defeating South Africa in their last Super-12 encounter, ensuring India a place in the semi-finals.

Put to bat first by South Africa, the Dutch put up 158/4 i 20 overs. Openers Stephan Myburgh (37) and Max ODowd (29) put up a fine stand of 58 runs for the first wicket.

Colin Ackermann top-scored with 41* off 26 balls for the Netherlands. Spinner Keshav Maharaj (2/27) was the pick of the bowlers for Proteas. Anrich Nortje and Aiden Markram also got a wicket each.

Chasing 159, the South African batting line-up was up for a huge surprise by the Dutch. The Netherlands bowlers dominated the proceedings right from the powerplay. Biggies like wicketkeeper-batter Quinton de Kock (13), Rilee Rossouw (25), Aiden Markram (17) and David Miller (17) failed to make an impact with the bat. Heinrich Klassen did score 21 runs, but that was not enough either as the team fell 13 runs short. At the end of 20 overs, SA could only score 145/8.

Pacer Brandon Glover was the pick of the bowlers for the Dutch, picking up 3/9 in two overs. Fred Klaassen and Bas de Leede took two wickets each. Paul van Meekeren also took a wicket.

Ackermann’s knock of 41 earned him the ‘Man of the Match’ award.


Brief scores: Netherlands 158/4 (Colin Ackermann 41, Tom Cooper 35; Keshav Maharaj 2-27) vs South Africa 145/8 (Rilee Rossouw 25, Heinrich Klaasen 21; Brandon Glover 3-9).

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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