SA v IND, 1st Test: Injured Temba Bavuma faces flak for not batting after Marco Jansen stranded on 84

Once again, South Africa’s captain, Temba Bavuma, is facing criticism, this time for not taking the field to support his teammate Marco Jansen in achieving his maiden Test hundred. Bavuma suffered a hamstring injury while attempting to prevent a boundary on Day 1 of the Boxing Day Test against India at SuperSport Park in Centurion. Throughout Day 2 and the final session of Day 1, Bavuma was absent from the field as he underwent scans to evaluate the extent of his injury. The details of his hamstring injury were not disclosed by the South African cricket board.

Despite expectations that Bavuma might emerge as the last batter in South Africa’s first innings, the hosts concluded their innings at 408 for 9. Nandre Burger, the final wicket to fall on Day 3, was dismissed by a Jasprit Bumrah yorker, leaving Marco Jansen stranded on 84 not out without the opportunity to complete his maiden Test hundred.

Criticism emerged on social media, questioning the team management’s decision not to send Bavuma to bat and assist Marco Jansen in achieving this significant milestone. Fans expressed concerns about the lack of clarity regarding Bavuma’s injury, as Cricket South Africa did not provide updates after the captain underwent scans. Some fans referenced past instances where injured players contributed crucial runs by coming out to bat, raising questions about why Bavuma did not do the same.

Despite the controversy, South Africa finished their first innings with a total of 408, securing a substantial lead of 163 after dismissing India for 245, with KL Rahul scoring a century. Dean Elgar, playing in his farewell series and making his final appearance at his home ground, received a standing ovation for his remarkable 185. Elgar’s fluent performance was supported by debutant David Bedingham and all-rounder Jansen, who achieved his highest Test score.

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