Nagpur: Hashim Amla averaged an astonishing 102.87 in six Tests in India before the ongoing series. However, this Indian sojourn has been a quiet one for the South African skipper. Following an indifferent limited overs series, he has managed only 50 runs in the three innings in the Tests so far. Perhaps the moment that summed up his struggle came at Mohali — when he shouldered arms to a Ravindra Jadeja-delivery that shattered his wicket.
“I definitely would have liked to have got more runs in the one-dayers and Tests so far. Hopefully, the runs are still to come — we’ve got two big Test matches to deal with,” Amla said ahead of the third Test at Nagpur. It was here in 2010 that Amla smashed 253 not out, which set up a memorable victory for the Proteas.
Back then, Amla was a permanent fixture at No 3. Since taking over captaincy in 2014, he has moved down to No 4, with Faf du Plessis taking over Amla’s erstwhile spot. “When I took over the captaincy, one of the ideas was to give me a bit more time, especially when we fielded first, to bat at 4,” Amla explained. However, he didn’t rule out a return to No 3 in the future.
‘Not targetting Hashim’
Teams often tend to attack the opposition captain to pile the pressure on their adversaries. While Indian captain Virat Kohli admitted that teams employ such strategies, he denied focusing solely on Amla. “I wouldn’t say we have targeted a particular player as such,” Kohli said.
India would hope they continue to dominate the Proteas even as the tourists look to recover, possibly through their skipper’s blade. South Africa would also be hoping that they are inspired by their previous visits to the city to script a comeback.