regular-article-logo Friday, 22 September 2023

South Africa’s plan: Stay cool & hydrate

We expected it to be hot, but not this hot, says Temba Bavuma

A Staff Reporter Published 09.06.22, 03:14 AM
South Africa skipper Temba Bavuma

South Africa skipper Temba Bavuma PTI

South Africa have another potent opponent during their T20I series against India, starting on Thursday — the extreme heat and humidity.

The five-match T20I series will be the first in India to go on without Covid-related restrictions since the outbreak of the pandemic. But the sweltering Delhi heat that’s well past 40°C is a factor for the Proteas.


“We expected it to be hot, but not this hot,” captain Temba Bavuma said on Wednesday. “We’re fortunate that the games are being played at night, when it’s still bearable. During the day, the guys are trying to look after themselves as much as possible and drinking a lot more water than the normal beer they drink at home.”

Going into this series having won all of their last 12 T20Is, India will create an all-time record of winning 13 consecutive matches in the format in men’s cricket if they beat Bavuma & Co. on Thursday. That said, this Indian team lacks several of their regulars.

South Africa, on the other hand, are at full strength with the likes of Quinton de Kock, David Miller and Kagiso Rabada all having a fair knowledge of the conditions, thanks to the IPL. Yet, Bavuma seems worried, all because of the heat.

When the team left Johannesburg, the mercury read 19°C. When they take the field at the Kotla on Thursday, the temperature will most likely remain above 40°C.

“It’s not something we’re used to,” Bavuma admitted. “Cramping, hydration and fatigue are big things in such conditions. We need to hydrate ourselves as much as we can, manage our energies and try and recover as well as we can in and around the games.”

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