South Africa skipper Temba Bavuma has his team flying high and is basking in the glory of a string of dazzling performances in the World Cup but questions around the ‘chokers tag’ keep coming up. South Africa, presently placed 2nd in the points table with just 1 defeat in 7 matches, take on India next, and Bavuma was asked in the press conference how his team is planning to not ‘choke’ against the table-toppers.

Bavuma, unimpressed by the question from the reporter, gave a sharp response, saying such tags would not emerge for the Indian team if they fail to win the tournament despite winning all 7 matches so far.

Reporter: Have you talked about not to choke in this important match because always they’re called and this strong batting must have wiped away that tag to a certain extent.

Temba Bavuma: To choke? I don’t know how to answer that. I think if we come unstuck tomorrow, I don’t think it’ll be a matter of choking. I doubt you would say that about India as well if they come unstuck if they would choke.

You got two teams who are in-form, coming up against each other and I think it’s just a matter of who breaks first and who’s able to I guess, exploit that moment or that weakness. We understand that there will be pressure moments within the World Cup, moments that we’ve overcome to get to this point, and there will still be more. We’ll deal with them as best as we can. But yeah, I haven’t heard that word come up as of yet in the training.

Riding on their superlative performance, South Africa are on a four-match winning streak as they face Rohit Sharma’s unbeaten side in a top-of-the-table clash at the Eden Gardens and Bavuma said his side will draw energy from the “positive sentiment floating around the team”.

“Kuldeep (Yadav) has bowled very well. He’s been taking wickets for them in the middle, in conjunction with (Ravindra) Jadeja. So, they’ve been quite key within that middle phase.

“I think we’ve played spin quite well as a team over the last couple of years. So, it’ll be a good test for us batters as to how we come up against the challenge of Yadav as well as Jadeja,” he said in the pre-match media conference.

Bavuma also said that the Proteas will have to bring their ‘A’ game to the table to counter Indian bowling, which has been augmented by the inclusion of pacer Mohammed Shami.

“You respect the strength and the threats that they bring. It’s obviously a world-class bowling attack in their condition. We’re going to have to have our A games up come tomorrow.

“We try to cover all our bases, make sure that we’re not surprised by anything, and get ourselves into a space where we can play our best cricket,” he said.

With PTI inputs

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