T20 World Cup 2021: Temba Bavuma says SA’s main focus is to win against England and not net run-rate

South Africa | Getty

South African skipper Temba Bavuma said that his sole focus is on defeating England in ICC T20 World Cup 2021 clash at Sharjah rather than their net run rate which could be a factor in deciding the semi-finalists.

After suffering a disappointing loss against Australia in their first match of T20 World Cup 2021, South Africa bounced back strongly to win three back to back matches and make their case strong for the semi-finals.

However, Australia registering a big victory over Bangladesh has given them an edge over South Africa because of their net run-rate and if they manage to win against West Indies, they are likely to seal the spot in the semi-finals.

South Africa, on the other hand, not only needs to win against England but will also have to likely register a victory by a certain margin to better Australia’s NRR and advance to the semifinals.

Speaking ahead of the match against England, South African skipper, Temba Bavuma said that game against the Eoin Morgan-led side is a sort of quarterfinal for them and they want to play their best cricket.

He added that they can’t do anything about Australia’s superior run rate, so they’ll only focus on winning the match.

“It’s obviously a big game. Some have even called it as a ‘quarterfinal. So I think from that point of view, and looking at our expectations as a team coming to this event, we want to play our best cricket.

“With Australia currently number two in our group, with their superior run rate, there’s not much we can do from that point of view. I think the first point when we go out would be to just win the game,” Temba Bavuma told reporters. 

Bavuma said that his side doesn’t rely on individual brilliance but on giving everything as a team. He lauded England as a strong said and pointed out that they need to be at their best against them.

“Every game we only speak about fighting it out as a team. We don’t rely on individual brilliance to bring it home, it’s all about us as a team giving everything. England is obviously a strong side. We’ve seen that not just in this tournament but over the years. As a team we know that we’ll have to be at our best in all our departments,” he said.

Temba Bavuma said that Australia taking on West Indies before their match will give them a sense of understanding as to how they need to approach the game against England. He remarked that winning the game will be their first priority and then they can take it from there.

“What’s happening with Australia, West Indies, I guess what helps us is that their game happens before our game, so we’ll kind of get a better sense or understanding as to how we need to approach the England game. 

“But I think the first point, without reading too much into everything else, is to win the game, and then we can take it from there,” he said.