Dubai [UAE], October 26 (ANI): South Africa skipper Temba Bavuma admitted that the Proteas were taken aback as a team after wicket-keeper Quinton de Kock made himself unavailable ahead of Tuesday's game against the West Indies in the ongoing T20 World Cup.
The news came just hours after Cricket South Africa released a statement saying that all players should take the knee ahead of the game. De Kock was one of a number of South Africa players who had not been taking the knee ahead of recent internationals, including the team's tournament opener against Australia, with some players kneeling, some raising a fist and some standing.
On-field, after their pace bowlers restricted the West Indies at the death, South Africa's top order were clinical in chasing down a target of 144 with eight wickets and 10 balls in hand. Rassie van der Dussen held firm while Reeza Hendricks and half-centurion Aiden Markram took the bowlers on, with the two fifty-plus stands steering the chase in Dubai.
Temba Bavuma, South Africa captain in the post-match presentation said: "Much better than our first game. We knew the areas we had to improve on, more particularly our batting, our bowling was outstanding. Good day for us. I think the conversations we have on the field are a lot shorter, a lot clearer on what to do, and they (Rabada and Nortje) pass on information to other bowlers as well. Their knowledge has been a positive one for us.""We were all watching that (ENG v WI) game, but weren't sure how the wicket was going to react, so we thought Aiden could have a go and he did well. Those are the types of performance we are looking forward to from our batters, Aiden is hitting the ball really well at the moment."SA skipper then talked about the absence of Quinton de Kock. He said: "I guess a bit of both (got in the way and inspired), when the news (of de Kock) hit us, it did kind of take us back a bit as a team. Losing a guy like Quinny.. he plays a vital role in the team, not only with the bat but as a senior player, but with Klaasen coming in it was an opportunity for him.""At the end of the day it was another game of cricket to play for our country and we had to make sure we lived up to that. The guys have been playing with their hearts and would have left everything out there and as the tournament goes on that's what we are looking for," he added.
South Africa will next play Sri Lanka on October 30 and West Indies will clash with Bangladesh on October 29. (ANI)