New Delhi: Although South Africa were vanquished in the fourth Test here, they put in a monumental effort in the second innings — batting for 143.1 overs. The man who signified that big effort was skipper Hashim Amla.
Hashim Amla walks back to the pavilion after being dismissed for 25 at Kotla yesterday. Pic/PTI
He battled it out for 244 balls, managing only 25 runs. That rubbed off on others, as AB de Villiers too fought for 297 deliveries for his 43. Such efforts won't be forgotten anytime in the near future.
Amla said one needs to curb natural instincts for the team's cause. "Nobody wants to block everything. You want to score runs; that's why you are a batsman. But the need of the time was to try and bat as long as we can," he said.
However, if the target was lower, South Africa may have had a crack. Once it was 481, they had to get into a shell and defend their way out. "It would have been easy for our batters to just try and get some runs under their belt with fielders in catching positions. But, that gains nothing — especially when you are playing for your team and your country," Amla said.
Going into Day Five, a lot of the talk was about South Africa's epic effort to save a Test against Australia at Adelaide in 2012. Faf du Plessis managed an unbeaten century then, with others batting around him. South Africa certainly believed that an encore of that effort was possible. "We tried our best. AB de Villiers did an exceptional job in trying to hold it together for us," Amla said