Keshav Maharaj will captain SA as Temba Bavuma ruled out due to injury

The South Africa limited-overs captain, Temba Bavuma, has been ruled out of the remainder of the ongoing series in Sri Lanka due to a fracture in his right thumb during the first ODI on Thursday. Keshav Maharaj will lead the side for the second and third fixtures of the three-match ODI series in his absence.

Bavuma played for South Africa A after finishing as the fifth-highest run-scorer in the 2012-13 season and followed that up by ending sixth in 2013-14. He was called up to the Test squad to play West Indies at the end of 2014. That’s how Bavuma’s career for the national side started. Meanwhile, Keshav Maharaj, during the opening first-class match of the 2016-17 season picked up 13 for 157 and was then told he would be on South Africa’s Test tour to Australia. Maharaj debuted at the WACA, an unusual place for a spinner, given the conditions, but did a remarkable job. In an innings in which he had to hold one end when Dale Steyn was injured, Maharaj bowled well enough to allow the other two seamers to be rotated at the other side. He took 3 for 56 in the first innings, four in the match, and scored an unbeaten 41 to show great promise for the future.

Bavuma, who will return to South Africa as soon as possible to consult a specialist, took a blow to the thumb during the 26th over of South Africa’s chase in the series opener on Thursday when, after pushing the ball to midwicket, he was attempting to avoid the fielder’s throw. He took his glove off immediately, which revealed some blood and swelling, and received on-field attention for several minutes and continued batting, but not for long.

At that moment, Bavuma and Aiden Markram had shared in a 106-run second-wicket stand. Bavuma then retired hurt on a 53-ball 38 after the completion of the 28th over because of persistent discomfort. When taken for scans later in the evening, it emerged he had sustained a fracture, a CSA statement said the day after, on Friday.

“The timelines for return to play will be defined subsequent to that,” the statement said, adding that the national selection panel would meet to identify the T20I captain for the series.

South Africa lost the first ODI by 14 runs. The second match is scheduled for Saturday, with the final game on Tuesday, after which the teams will play three T20Is.


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