Gibbs furiously labels Bavuma ‘unfit’, ‘overweight’ after 1st Test injury | Cricket

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During Day 1 of the opening Test against India, South Africa captain Temba Bavuma suffered a left hamstring injury while fielding in the second session of in Centurion. After the injury, the 33-year-old was taken to a hospital for a scan, and further “medical evaluations” would be conducted to determine his participation in the long-format game; a Cricket South Africa statement stated that Bavuma will “undergo daily medical evaluations to determine” if he will play any further role in the match.

Temba Bavuma reacts in pain while fielding during the first day of the first cricket Test match between South Africa and India at SuperSport Park in Centurion(AFP)
Temba Bavuma reacts in pain while fielding during the first day of the first cricket Test match between South Africa and India at SuperSport Park in Centurion(AFP)

Bavuma sustained the injury during the 20th over of India’s first innings. While chasing the ball off a shot from Virat Kohli, the Proteas skipper managed to stop the ball but injured his left hamstring. Following the incident, Bavuma left the field immediately. If the skipper cannot bat, the hosts will play the rest of the first Test with one player short since Bavuma cannot be replaced due to an external injury.

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As Bavuma suffers from an injury, former South Africa opener Herschelle Gibbs expressed frustration at the Proteas skipper’s fitness levels. Gibbs questioned how “clearly unfit” players are allowed to play for the side, let alone leading the team.

“Ironic that the coach allows some players who are clearly unfit and overweight to play when he started off as proteas trainer in 2009,” Gibbs wrote on his official X profile. Gibbs aimed Rob Walter, South Africa’s coach in white-ball formats; Walter was the strength and conditioning trainer for the Protas in 2009. In Tests, Shukri Conrad coaches the senior team.

Bavuma had also faced a hamstring injury ahead of the semi-finals of the 2023 World Cup and played against Australia while carrying the injury. The South Africa opener came under scanner for his dismal performances with the bat throughout the campaign, and he didn’t find a place in the ODI squad for the series against India earlier this month. Aiden Markram captained the Proteas as the hosts faced a 1-2 loss against KL Rahul’s men.

Bavuma had won the toss in Centurion and opted to bowl; South Africa had made a solid start, leaving India at 92/4 before KL Rahul (70*) steered India’s fightback. At the end of Day 1, India were at 208/8 with Dean Elgar, the former South Africa captain – standing in for the injured Bavuma.

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