Hashim Amla: the stoke & style master of South Africa - ICC 2011

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  • Hashim Amla: the stoke & style master of South Africa - ICC 2011

Hashim Amla: the stoke & style master of South Africa - ICC 2011

It is hard to impede the way of talent. Talent surges and prevails like smoke. Hashim Amla is the player who, being the non-white Indian descent player broke through the prejudiced net and made inroads in the South African cricket. Amla is ranked at top order in the list of the Protease’s seamers and forms a major building block of their innings. Starting his career from a provincial team and captaining the Under-19s squad at the young age of 21, Amla was the player who put the first stone of his career on his forefathers’ soil i.e., India. Notwithstanding his four year later arrival than his elder brother Ahmad Amla, Hashim excelled him and reached the national team.

Born on 31 March, 1983 in Natal, South Africa, Amla is the first player on the Indian descent to come into the mainstream of South African cricket and the only non-white player who has been a strong nominee for national side’s captaincy. Fiery strokes, fast runs and fabulous centuries mark Amla.

Having been played at local level for some years, Amla started his professional career from KwaZulu Natal Dolphins, a provincial U-19s team, as an ordinary player. Amla drew his inspiration from the Western Province’s coach, Hylton Ackerman. Amla toured New Zeeland with U-19s team in 2000. He performed well and within a year he was standing at the position of captain to lead his side in U-19s World Cup 2002. With his meticulous sway, he led the team to the final game but unfortunately his side lost. At the dawn of 2004, Amla was playing for South Africa A. He scored marvelous four centuries within his eight innings, paving his way towards selection for the National Team.

Cricket South Africa (CSA) decided to try Amla’s reputed batting techniques in the 2004 Test series against India. So Amla was selected in the national squad that was leaving for India to play a Test series. On 28 November, 2004, Amla stepped into the famous Eden Gardens Ground at Kolkata, India to play his first ever international game against the team that hailed from the territory of his forefathers. This Test was a test of Amla’s capabilities. In the first innings of the match, Amla was fifth to hold the bat. He scored 24 including 4 fours. In the second innings, he could score just 2. In the end, India was the winner. It was just a slow start. The snail’s pace continued as he scored just 36 in four innings against England at the end of the year.

Amla’s slow and small score drew a lot of criticism. It was socking for a batsman who had always been a top-scorer at domestic level. So Amla stayed away from international cricket for two years in a bid to polish and improve his skills. In 2006 he made a comeback in a Test against the Kiwis. He made an outstanding half a century at Cape Town. After that he remained constant at bat. After scoring three fifties in a Test series against Pakistan, Amla was again in India for another Test series in 2007. This time, he paid all the old scores by gaining 307 in three Tests including 159, 150 and 81 runs, silencing his critics and becoming the top third cricketer of South Africa.

After playing for four years as a Test cricketer, Amla made his debut in ODI cricket on 9 March, 2008 against another Asian team, Bangladesh. The match was played at Chittagong Divisional Stadium. Amla stayed not out on 9 as the Protease won the day by 9 wickets. It ushered a marvelous ODI career for Amla. Amla starred in his first T20 contest against the world’s top-ranked team, Australia on 13 June, 2009 at Brisbane. He opened the innings excellently and scored 26 from 26 deliveries including 1 four and 1 six.

The 27 year old right-handed batsman and right-arm medium-fast occasional bowler, Amla, has played 51 Tests, 42 ODIs and 3 T20s so far with 3,897, 2,156 and 53 runs respectively. He has 19 centuries, 31 fifties, 705 fours and 17 sixes to his credit.

For his beard, he was termed as terrorist by the Ten Sports commentator, Dean Jones. It was much condemned by his fans and the CSA. Resultantly, Ten Sports had to cancel his contract.

As a top-order opening batsman, Amla is playing his maiden ICC World Cup. His batting strength is a valuable asset of his side. If he is stable, the innings is stable and the victory is with the Protease. Let us see how he perks his side.