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By Bonginkosi Tiwane

Digital Journalist

‘Who will you blame?’ Proteas fans react to Indian drubbing, say Bavuma is vindicated

Temba Bavuma trended after the Proteas were thrashed by India. Netizens thought he was vindicated as all the Proteas batsmen failed to score runs

Proteas captain Temba Bavuma was trending after the men’s national team was convincingly thrashed by India in the first One Day International (ODI) of the three-match series, despite not being part of squad that played.

The Proteas’ top seven batters scored just eight runs between them after they won the toss and chose to bat. Opener Tony de Zorzi (28) and stand-in captain Aiden Markram (12) were the only specialist batters who reached double figures.

With the hosts languishing at 58/7, the tail worked hard to try and launch a recovery, led by all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo, who top-scored with 38 runs.

With wounds from being knocked out the recent Cricket World Cup, where Bavuma didn’t perform well with the bat, still fresh, Proteas fans who support Bavuma felt vindicated by Sunday’s bad performance by Proteas batsmen.

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Fresh wounds

Bavuma had a dismal showing at the World Cup. In eight innings at the tournament, he top-scored with 35 runs against Australia, while all the top six batters made hundreds in the tournament.

Because of this, Bavuma bore the brunt of the Proteas’ ultimate knockout in the tournament, with many saying he should’ve been dropped.

 “He was the lead man who got us into this tournament in the first place. I think people forget that. I wanted to make sure that he was aware of how important he is in this team and how proud I am of his efforts and the way he led throughout the tournament,” ODI Proteas coach Rob Walter told media after the team’s exit.

The Proteas skipper was injured leading up to the Semi-final match against the eventual winners, Australia. Bavuma was South Africa’s leading run-scorer in ODIs in 17 matches played over the past 18 months prior to the tournament.

He scored 868 runs at an average of 57.86, with four of his five hundreds made in that period.

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Not to blame

The eight-wicket victory with more than 33 overs to spare on Sunday afternoon by India has made Proteas fans realise that maybe Bavuma shouldn’t be blamed for the Proteas batters’ woes.

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