Hashim Amla scored 61 off 121 balls in South Africa’s first innings in the ongoing Wanderers Test, but the seasoned campaigner didn’t look at ease throughout his stay at the crease. No wonder, Amla reckons that it was probably the toughest innings he has played and certainly one of the quickest wickets he has ever batted on.
“I can think back recently in England we played and there were a couple of tough wickets there as well. But this one has a lot of pace, bounce, probably one of the quickest wickets that I have played on. There have been a couple in one or two years, quite fickle. In England one or two. Yeah, it’s quite challenging to bat,” Amla said while addressing the media after the end of second day’s play.
The 113 Tests veteran further elaborated about the challenge of this Wanderers track, saying that as a batsman you can never feel in.
“It’s quite a spicy wicket. No one can hide from the fact you can get out any ball, in the same token, it’s challenging as a batsmen. Sometimes we get on to wickets where you can score when it’s pretty flat. Yeah, it’s quite difficult to bat, although whether it is too excessive or not, if you ask the batsmen what do you think they will say?,” he added.
During his hard grind, Amla used the tactic of staying outside the crease with a good effect. He constantly shuffled across his stumps.
When asked about this method, Hashim said: “I just figured that the ball is doing so much, get into the channel. If it’s outside, try and leave it. I know you can take a few in body and hands but it’s part of the game, yeah it was as simple as it is.”
During South Africa’s tour to India in 2015, Amla and company had received a rank turner in Nagpur which was rated as “poor” by the ICC back then.
Talking about the extreme surfaces of Nagpur and Johannesburg, Amla said: “Both were very difficult to bat. I think the difference here is, if you look at the Centurion, the wicket didn’t suit us. But to win that game, in those type, if I may use the word “subcontinental conditions”, South Africa have been playing good cricket. I am happy that we won the match that offered something for the bowlers and we won match on a wicket that offered something to the batters.”
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