Hashim Amla-A force to reckon with

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The rise and rise of Hashim Amla in the past two years has been incredible, magnificent and awe inspiring. His latest hundred against India in the fifth One day international which helped South Africa to lift the series again showed his class and ability
to score at will. He has now scored seven centuries in a total of 42 ODIs at an outstanding average of 59.88. In this age where technique has become a dying trait Amla stands out as the beacon of hope. Amla, the first South African of Indian descent to break
into the National team, has been extremely severe against his Indian opponents and has amassed runs with utmost authority in the recent test series. The way he has been scoring runs it doesn’t come as a surprise that he now has accumulated runs at an average
of 75 in his last 10 matches. South Africa has had a rare fortune that many teams can only wish for. They have found in Amla, a perfect candidate to continue in the same vein as the classy Jacque Kallis. At 27, Amla is still in his early years of international
cricket and if he carries on in this destructive manner then he will surely be remembered as one of the best batsmen, the African country has produced. Steven Waugh, former Australian captain, once said that the batsmen performed their best once they hit their
thirties. So if we consider that and take into account Tendulkar’s recent blitz, then Amla can definitely continue to go on and achieve greater things. The South African opener made his test debut more than six years ago and though initially he found it difficult
to cope at the top level but slowly and steadily he has made his mark. It is interesting to note that he didn’t make his one day debut until 2008 and it clearly reflected South African’s cricket board doubts that he would be a good fit in the one day side.
Obviously he has proved them and all his critics wrong. In fact his continued success can be owed to the mature manner in which he handles any criticism that comes his way. When Dean Jones, the Australian commentator, made the most uncalled remark by calling
him a terrorist, Amla didn’t react and chose to remain silent. Even when Dean Jones apologized he simply accepted it without making a fuss of any sort. It seems Amla, with his sound methods and technique belongs to the old school of cricket but he has scored
his runs at an exceptional strike rate of 93.53. Few players can boast of a strike rate better than his. His combination of high average and almost run a ball strike rate is even more difficult to find. His one day record suggests he would be the ideal player
for the twenty20 squad as well but that hasn’t been the case so far. He has just played in three twenty20s and has a meager average of about 17. The way his career has progressed, it shouldn’t be long before he secures a permanent place in this one format
that has eluded him so far. Amla has still got a long way to go and many years of cricket left in him. It is early time to predict and estimate, what he will be able to accomplish by the time he’s done. With the world cup coming up, his most immediate concern
would be to play a significant role in its country bid to win its first world cup. Doing so would almost cement his place in the South African folklore.


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