India v South Africa, 2nd Test, Kolkata, 5th day February 18, 2010

The last man standing

N Hunter
Hashim Amla was the last South African standing after his vigil lasted a minute short of 500, but he was not playing for time and grinding it out. Instead, it is his bloody-mindedness, an antithesis to the fast-paced approach of the Twenty20 age
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After 1402 minutes and faced 1032 deliveries, Hashim Amla finished with 490 runs in the series - the second-best ever in a two-match series. In Nagpur his253, compiled over 675 minutes, set up the match for South Africa and in Kolkata he refused to be intimidated by either the imposing Eden Gardens or the match situation. He remained the last South African standing after a vigil that spanned one minute short of 500; it's the sort of timespan that causes dehydration, cramps, fatigue and spasms in other batsmen but Amla complained of nothing, maintaining his focus and his beatific smile throughout.

"I have learnt, after passing that stage of thirst and mental fatigue, that the limits we put on the body and mind can, and at times must, be challenged," Amla had once said while talking on the gains he derives from fasting in the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. It is an interesting statement that provides an insight to this most intriguing batsman.

It proves, and the evidence was there during his three centuries in the last two weeks, that Amla is not going to stop at anything - and will not be stopped by much either. He was more sure and secure about himself and his gameplans. Also, taking responsibility has never been an issue, considering he has been the captain at the school (Durban Boys Highs School), Under-19 (2002 World Cup) and the franchise (Dolphins) levels.

He entered the Nagpur Test as the top-scorer in the two-day warm-up match against the Indian Board President's XI, where he had scored a fluent 72. A few days later he walked into the first Test at 5 for 1 and returned only when South Africa declared at 558 for 6, the highlight of which was his 340-run partnership with Jacques Kallis.

In Kolkata last Sunday, when Graeme Smith departed even before South Africa's score could reach double digits (9 for 1) Amla settled easily into the groove and came up with an assured 209-run partnership. He returned to the crease three days later and remained till Harbhajan Singh broke the stubborn resistance of Morne Morkel.

All this is not to say Amla was playing for time and grinding it out. Instead, his bloody-mindedness, an antithesis to the fast-paced approach of the Twenty20 age, harked back to a time before Australia made aggressive batting a prerequisite of Test cricket. Though that change has led to an increase in results in Test cricket, the flipside is that batsmen have not shown the grit to hand in there when the situation demands.

When they do occur, such situations stand out, as does Gautam Gambhir's 11-hour knock that allowed India to draw the Napier Test after being asked to follow on by New Zealand. Just like Gambhir played the ball with an open face of the bat, Amla too, came out confident and never refused to take advantage of the loose deliveries.

Importantly, he planned his approach according to the situation and the batsman at the other end. Today, he was left to marshall the tail for the final two sessions but the expression and body language remained unchanged. He broke the sessions into hours, hours into minutes, overs into balls, making the opposition change their plans along the way.

Surprisingly, MS Dhoni never set attacking fields to Amla in the first session today, especially when Harbhajan Singh was on. Even against Amit Mishra the patrolling was not suffocating and Amla enjoyed his freedom.

"When you know at the back of your mind that you have to bat the whole the day but to break it down is the key," Amla said in the post-match media conference. "In the change room we always talk about breaking it down hour by hour, over by over, ball by ball and there are no overs left in the day."

His confidence rubbed off on even inexperienced partners like Wayne Parnell and Mornel Morkel, as they gave him able support and reinvigorated South African hopes which seemed virtually over an hour after lunch.

"Our emotions when myself and Morne were out there were enjoying it more than anything," Amla said. "I took a lot of confidence from Morne and Parnell who told (me) they were more comfortable at certain ends so that made my job easier to farm the strike. It just was a lovely experience."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY sabbir_ahmed_sajib on | February 20, 2010, 8:00 GMT

    for the last 2 weeks we saw some awesome performances by this supremely talented batsman.he will rule the south african cricket for the next 10 years.

  • POSTED BY Satwa_desi on | February 19, 2010, 15:58 GMT

    I saw several posting with reference to the Muslim religion... Its funny that when we talk about great batsmen like Dravid or Border or Gavaskar, there is no reference to Hindusim or Christianity... and then we have Hashim, who has all the potential to be one of the greats, and people start bringing in religion.

    Guys, Hashim is awesome... but not because of his religion, it is because of his batting abilities. Lets not bring religion in here....!!!

  • POSTED BY on | February 19, 2010, 14:22 GMT

    this guy is southafrican dravid... seriously he was the difference between india winning the series n drawing it....looking forward to seeing him in action in opnedayers.. though i dont expext much from him in the limited overs......

  • POSTED BY vraghu on | February 19, 2010, 14:07 GMT

    Fabulous efforts from painstaking Amla to stave off a defeat against great odds. So reminiscent of Kennny Barrington in early 60s. against India.But let me come back to my all time favorite. Viru Sehwag. He did set up the match with his pacy 165 in 179 balls or so. Didn't he?Imagine a plodder in his place and scoring only 70-80 and not securing for India adequate time in this rain truncated match. Sehwag's batting for me is sight for gods. He also knows when to use his footwork and when his hand-eye coordination.See his footwork when he defends impeccably.Without that footwork he cannot last at the crease much. See his footwork when he comes down the wicket to loft the ball.I do hope critics and commentators stop their repetitive comments about his lack of footwork.Veeru has worked out in his mind when to use his footwork or not, to score his runs at that furious pace which is not possible with Boycott like approach.Mind you I like Boycott the commentator and do miss him in that roll.

  • POSTED BY CrickSam on | February 19, 2010, 13:46 GMT

    The conclusion of the first sentence is incorrect. Looking down the list provided shows that Hammond, A Flower & Hayden have all scored more than 500 runs in a two Test series. What the list does show though is that Amla has just achieved the second best batting AVERAGE in any Test match series, highlighting what an immense performance he has just accomplished. This series has really raised Amla's standing on the world stage, demonstrating he really has matured into a World class batsman.

  • POSTED BY aalhasankh on | February 19, 2010, 12:37 GMT

    Whle appreciating Amla's great feat,I feel disappointed that he did not shield Morkel and take upon himself the responsibility to see through the last 2 overs.He was entitled to feel exhausted but having come so far,he should have ensured that all his toils and tears did not go waste.Compared to the mountains he had moved over the days,he should not have left just 2 stones unturned.

  • POSTED BY on | February 19, 2010, 12:27 GMT

    i dont know why gambhir's Napier innings is brought into picture very often..agreed india had to bat 180 overs but india did not struggle! gambhir 137 dravid 62 sachin 64 laxman 124* Yuvraj 54*..agreed he batted for 11 hrs but is it a stand out innings?the fellow batsmen scores and the partnerships don;t suggest..if u see in this innings amla scored 123* and the next highest score is 35 and its Extras..in Gambhir's case the next highest socre is 124* for pete's sake.. pls stop bringing in gambhir's innings when talking about single-player-outscoring innings..thnks

  • POSTED BY unbiased_fan on | February 19, 2010, 12:24 GMT

    hasim amla is at his zenith............but credit should go to indians for dropping him regularly,which led to birth of another wall for south africa.. lets see if this wall can last in front of australian attack..

  • POSTED BY proteasrulz on | February 19, 2010, 11:34 GMT

    h amla.. that was a superhuman effort.....he almost, almost saved it for south affrica..... hope he has loads to offer for southafrican cricket

  • POSTED BY proteasrulz on | February 19, 2010, 11:26 GMT

    Man of the match= HASHIM AMLA

    Man of the series =HASHIM AMLA

    Highest run getter=HASHIM AMLA

    thats says it all,HATS off to h amla............im a die hard sa supporter.....i always had doubts over his ability to bat at no 3 . i was never A Fan of his batting style................but ,this series he was simply unbelievable .... 1042 mins at the crease nd 1032 deliveries nd dismissed just once-thats a superhuman effort................ hope he can carry on to grter heights ....that will b grt for south african cricket.he almost saved it for the proteas. i dnt remember any batsmen scoring 3 centuries in 3consecutive innings in india against india.... is there any?

    HASHIM AMLA---- THE GR8 WALL OF SOUTH AFRICAN CRICKET....

  • POSTED BY sabbir_ahmed_sajib on | February 20, 2010, 8:00 GMT

    for the last 2 weeks we saw some awesome performances by this supremely talented batsman.he will rule the south african cricket for the next 10 years.

  • POSTED BY Satwa_desi on | February 19, 2010, 15:58 GMT

    I saw several posting with reference to the Muslim religion... Its funny that when we talk about great batsmen like Dravid or Border or Gavaskar, there is no reference to Hindusim or Christianity... and then we have Hashim, who has all the potential to be one of the greats, and people start bringing in religion.

    Guys, Hashim is awesome... but not because of his religion, it is because of his batting abilities. Lets not bring religion in here....!!!

  • POSTED BY on | February 19, 2010, 14:22 GMT

    this guy is southafrican dravid... seriously he was the difference between india winning the series n drawing it....looking forward to seeing him in action in opnedayers.. though i dont expext much from him in the limited overs......

  • POSTED BY vraghu on | February 19, 2010, 14:07 GMT

    Fabulous efforts from painstaking Amla to stave off a defeat against great odds. So reminiscent of Kennny Barrington in early 60s. against India.But let me come back to my all time favorite. Viru Sehwag. He did set up the match with his pacy 165 in 179 balls or so. Didn't he?Imagine a plodder in his place and scoring only 70-80 and not securing for India adequate time in this rain truncated match. Sehwag's batting for me is sight for gods. He also knows when to use his footwork and when his hand-eye coordination.See his footwork when he defends impeccably.Without that footwork he cannot last at the crease much. See his footwork when he comes down the wicket to loft the ball.I do hope critics and commentators stop their repetitive comments about his lack of footwork.Veeru has worked out in his mind when to use his footwork or not, to score his runs at that furious pace which is not possible with Boycott like approach.Mind you I like Boycott the commentator and do miss him in that roll.

  • POSTED BY CrickSam on | February 19, 2010, 13:46 GMT

    The conclusion of the first sentence is incorrect. Looking down the list provided shows that Hammond, A Flower & Hayden have all scored more than 500 runs in a two Test series. What the list does show though is that Amla has just achieved the second best batting AVERAGE in any Test match series, highlighting what an immense performance he has just accomplished. This series has really raised Amla's standing on the world stage, demonstrating he really has matured into a World class batsman.

  • POSTED BY aalhasankh on | February 19, 2010, 12:37 GMT

    Whle appreciating Amla's great feat,I feel disappointed that he did not shield Morkel and take upon himself the responsibility to see through the last 2 overs.He was entitled to feel exhausted but having come so far,he should have ensured that all his toils and tears did not go waste.Compared to the mountains he had moved over the days,he should not have left just 2 stones unturned.

  • POSTED BY on | February 19, 2010, 12:27 GMT

    i dont know why gambhir's Napier innings is brought into picture very often..agreed india had to bat 180 overs but india did not struggle! gambhir 137 dravid 62 sachin 64 laxman 124* Yuvraj 54*..agreed he batted for 11 hrs but is it a stand out innings?the fellow batsmen scores and the partnerships don;t suggest..if u see in this innings amla scored 123* and the next highest score is 35 and its Extras..in Gambhir's case the next highest socre is 124* for pete's sake.. pls stop bringing in gambhir's innings when talking about single-player-outscoring innings..thnks

  • POSTED BY unbiased_fan on | February 19, 2010, 12:24 GMT

    hasim amla is at his zenith............but credit should go to indians for dropping him regularly,which led to birth of another wall for south africa.. lets see if this wall can last in front of australian attack..

  • POSTED BY proteasrulz on | February 19, 2010, 11:34 GMT

    h amla.. that was a superhuman effort.....he almost, almost saved it for south affrica..... hope he has loads to offer for southafrican cricket

  • POSTED BY proteasrulz on | February 19, 2010, 11:26 GMT

    Man of the match= HASHIM AMLA

    Man of the series =HASHIM AMLA

    Highest run getter=HASHIM AMLA

    thats says it all,HATS off to h amla............im a die hard sa supporter.....i always had doubts over his ability to bat at no 3 . i was never A Fan of his batting style................but ,this series he was simply unbelievable .... 1042 mins at the crease nd 1032 deliveries nd dismissed just once-thats a superhuman effort................ hope he can carry on to grter heights ....that will b grt for south african cricket.he almost saved it for the proteas. i dnt remember any batsmen scoring 3 centuries in 3consecutive innings in india against india.... is there any?

    HASHIM AMLA---- THE GR8 WALL OF SOUTH AFRICAN CRICKET....

  • POSTED BY SaKiran on | February 19, 2010, 11:05 GMT

    It was intriguing to see number 1 & 2 teams winning test matches by and innings in two consecutive matches!

    I hope that the upcoming ODI series will be closely fought and won by India ;-)

  • POSTED BY batfry on | February 19, 2010, 10:47 GMT

    As each inning followed another, it became fairly clear that it would be next to impossible to get Amla out. I have not seen a single Test series since I started following cricket (and that was back in 1984) in which a batsman was so difficult to dislodge as Amla was during this series. It's as though he was in some kind of trance. Amazingly obdurate batsmanship, Hash!

  • POSTED BY StaalBurgher on | February 19, 2010, 9:44 GMT

    England had much flatter pitches to hang out on and we don't have an attacking spinner. Eventhough we lost I am quite proud that we last nearly 100 overs on the 5th day. At least we made a billion Indians sweat! So close, but if we had won the English series at home this draw would not be an issue. The injuries of Steyn and Kallis at Centurion and then subsequently of De Wet + Harris' poor performance in Cape Town is what cost us the no.1 ranking. Well done India, but we'll be back. Wondering what we need to achieve in West Indies to push past?

  • POSTED BY jeet19800 on | February 19, 2010, 9:33 GMT

    1st time in my life i wanted a non-indian team to win the game. He almost pulled if off. hats off ...world cricket has found a new Wall. the test match also reminded me of the beauty of the Test-cricket.

  • POSTED BY sayeed_moh on | February 19, 2010, 9:18 GMT

    Cricket is gentlemens game and Hashim Amla is true gentlemen on the field or off the field, he won the hearts in INDIA.

  • POSTED BY griffin_830926 on | February 19, 2010, 7:15 GMT

    Amla...Great player! Superb concentration levels. Brian Lara's record of 400* might be in danger in the not so distant future. (thats if Hashim can find someone to occupy the crease with him) Having said all that, i dont seem him as the national captain. For me, being the captain of the national team, is like being the general, a marshal, The Commander in Chief. You need to be intimidating, somewhat arrogant, a bit of a bully. The build up to a series should be all about mind games, psyching the opposition out before a ball is even bowled. And i dont see Hashim doing that. For me Graeme Smith is what a captain should be.

  • POSTED BY Govindrajan on | February 19, 2010, 7:13 GMT

    This was truly an epic effort from such a thorough gentleman. What must hurt more is that South Africa could not pull off what England DID manage a few months ago - hang on for a draw when the match was all but lost. In an era where most things are "over the top", it is good to see a person performing well with an aura of calmness, dignity and restraint. Wish there were more like him!

  • POSTED BY SaKiran on | February 19, 2010, 7:06 GMT

    @Bang_La: It is possible to comment on everything under the sun! The whole of India is appreciating the way Amla batted, including the Indian players. So, don't post a comment for the sake of posting.

  • POSTED BY Prashant_Nirdhar on | February 19, 2010, 6:39 GMT

    I really appreciate the mental as well as physical strength shown by Amla especially playing the second inning. It is just a great effort shown by him to keep India at bay for almost one and half session. Surely he has shown he is player who can sit in the lines of players like Dravid, Hussey, Mohommad Yousouf.

  • POSTED BY SachinIsTheGreatest on | February 19, 2010, 6:35 GMT

    Bang_La, I like your psychic powers of being able to figure out that Tendulkar giving the stump to Amla was all about relief. Of course, Tendulkar would hardly be able to recognise a great knock when he sees one! There is a game on out there and all commiserations and congratulations can wait for till after the game. Given your other comments I hardly expect you to understand that.

  • POSTED BY ajaydesai on | February 19, 2010, 6:29 GMT

    Outstanding effort from South Africa. Hashim Amla was outstanding and really brought Test Match to wire wheras India surrendered in Nagpur when game was over in less than 4 days.

  • POSTED BY nafzak on | February 19, 2010, 5:36 GMT

    Amla is on the way to becoming one of Wisden's 5 cricketer of 2010 and also the ICC Test Player & Batsman of the year for 2010.

    Truly remarkable patience and a throwback to the days of Gavaskar. Amla in my opinion is a bit more fluid than Gavaskar and is a much more graceful player. He still has a way to go however, to match Gavaskar's accomplishments. Shiv Chanderpaul (my favourite and my countryman) is another player with the patience of Job.

    Hats off to Hashim Amla.

  • POSTED BY Magchennai on | February 19, 2010, 5:20 GMT

    Amla stood still in spite of the intimidation from 11 players as well as 1000s from the crowd he remained deaf and dumb in his soul to show his character, like some one said its a drawn test match which drawn thousands of Indian fans to him.Hail test cricket Hail Hamla.. (Please take it in a positive way)

  • POSTED BY JogeshPanda on | February 19, 2010, 5:13 GMT

    I feel for Amla, to end up in a losing side after scoring two centuries in a test is bitter pill to swallow. Really its unkind to him but matter of fact only one rush of blood in the first innings led his dismissal and which in turn decided the fate of the series. But he vindicated his batting acumen in tougher conditions. His batting reminds old classical style of batsmanship which is rarity in this age.

  • POSTED BY ringoringo on | February 19, 2010, 5:04 GMT

    What an incredible player. His effort in this series is truely laudable. South Africa is very lucky to have such a player and personality like him!

  • POSTED BY Bang_La on | February 19, 2010, 4:56 GMT

    Shankar Anand: I said AFTER Amla's century NOT after wining the game. In that instant, Sachin collected a stamp and handed to Amla. It was a gesture of relief! What I mentioned was the normal courtesy of praising a century in cricket. Please admit, Indian cricketers excepting educated Laxman failed to show cricketing spirit.

  • POSTED BY VipulPatki on | February 19, 2010, 4:43 GMT

    simply outstanding batting by Amla....

    @Bang_La: Get a life. I dont know the reason for your venom against Indian cricketers.

  • POSTED BY RASTAFARIN1 on | February 19, 2010, 4:37 GMT

    congrats to team India , hats off to them for making a great comeback n they deserve to be no 1 ....... well done to Amla ,he is a fighter n almost saw them through ..... Harbhajan was amazing n so were Sehwag, Sachin , Laxman n Dhoni with the bat ..... hope Team India will be on top for some more time or forever

  • POSTED BY on | February 19, 2010, 4:22 GMT

    Amla is turning into a great player for SA! He's standing firm whenever his team needs him.

  • POSTED BY ShankarAnand on | February 19, 2010, 4:16 GMT

    Bang_La: Kindly read cricinfo's commentary after the last ball of the test match - "Harbhajan leads the celebratory run to nowhere. He screams and screams as he looks at the crowd and is mobbed by his team-mates. The Indians quickly break away to run and congratulate Amla on an outstanding innings. They couldn't get him out at all but they have taken out the rest."

  • POSTED BY Ramesh.D on | February 19, 2010, 4:15 GMT

    No emotions what so ever! Even when Sharma's ball hit on his elbow. Future captian of SA??? A question that will be answered in a near future!

  • POSTED BY MrMMJ on | February 19, 2010, 4:10 GMT

    Great effort, an epic inning by Hashim Amla. But still I would like to add that there is no alternative of having runs on the scoreboard. Hashim played more then 310 balls on last day and managed just 74 runs. Just imagine had he added another 65 runs (still would have been a slow score) in his score on the last day he would have saved the day for SA. Though I do not play cricket but I understand that you have to keep on moving the score board even if you want to save the game. Had SA managed to add another 70 runs they would have saved the game. There is a lesson in this snail paced inning that no matter even if you are trying to save the game you must keep on making runs. Low run rate is good but not choaked one. Our own "WALL" has done great injustice to himself when he choked himself.

  • POSTED BY sheenu on | February 19, 2010, 3:51 GMT

    South Afric may have LOST the test match and DRAWN the series, but HASHIM AMLA has DRAWN and WON millions of hearts of even die-hard Indian cricket fans like me. His gentlemanly manners and the softness in his speech are truly remarkable..for a moment I felt very sad that South Africa lost. I only wish EVERY cricketer will try to emulate Hashim Amla!! Hats off to you, Mr. Amla. You ARE the TRUE gentleman of the sport!! I wish you all the more success in your future career.

  • POSTED BY on | February 19, 2010, 3:48 GMT

    Hashim Amla has won the hearts of millions of indians who will now undoubtedly be his fans .... Great show Hashim

  • POSTED BY IPL_is_Thrash on | February 19, 2010, 3:15 GMT

    After playing Non-Sense IPL, Indian Bowlers are expecting batsmen to play like in Twenty20. In Test Cricket bowlers have to induce batsmen to make mistakes. And Indian Bowlers don't have that guile.

  • POSTED BY on | February 19, 2010, 0:51 GMT

    As calm as sage I must say. Maybe the like of Sreesanth can a learn a few things from Amla. His expressions remained the same after defeat as they were while he was batting. Great man to learn patience from. Well played Ice Cool Amla!! :)

  • POSTED BY Bang_La on | February 19, 2010, 0:51 GMT

    With honourable exception of VVS Laxman, was that Indian Cricket Team's greatness of not applauding Amla's valiant century? Cricket is still a gentlemen's game regardless of the sticnky money the Indian cricketers amass from the billboards. Would someone please talk mannerism? Thank you.

  • POSTED BY vish515 on | February 19, 2010, 0:49 GMT

    he truly is the lion of south africa .. !! well done amla .. hugely underrated .. deserves a round of applause for the way he singlehandedly defied indian spin .. almost pulled it off ..

  • POSTED BY TeluguAbbai on | February 19, 2010, 0:38 GMT

    What a guy! If he keeps this up, he can join the likes of Gavaskar and Dravid in the pantheon of tough-minded yogi-like cricketers. His equanimity derived from his religion harkens back to his fellow Gujarati, Mohandas Gandhi.

    Welcome back to India any time, Hashim.

  • POSTED BY NEUTRAL_FAN on | February 18, 2010, 23:53 GMT

    Amla has taken one step further in becoming a real world class batsman. Batting in Ind against the Indian attack I'm sure is a bit easier than batting against an Aussie or Pak (if they learn to field) attack on a rare green wicket BUT something tells me he's good enough to bat just as long in those conditions. His mental strength is superb and probably better than Collingwood's. I almost gagged when he played a rash shot that started the collapse in the 1st Innings, so calm was he before that moment. I do wish him the best as I actually prefer his style of batting to the "dashers" who struggle otherwise that are emerging. If the SA team can draw on his calmness and attitude, I think they could well take a step ahead of Ind and Aus to becoming the clear cut #1 team for a few yrs. We all know thats a BIG "If" as the SA may never throw their chokers tag lol!

  • POSTED BY DocBindra on | February 18, 2010, 23:14 GMT

    Stupendous, fantastic, immaculate, superb, immovable, patient, compact, confident, elegant, class...just some of terms I could think of to describe Amla. I have not seen a player ooze this much class since probably Lara, Kallis, Dravid burst on to the scene.

  • POSTED BY gerardpereira20 on | February 18, 2010, 22:04 GMT

    I wanted India to win but I did not want Amla to end up on the loseing side. truly mixed emotions.

  • POSTED BY gerardpereira20 on | February 18, 2010, 21:59 GMT

    What a great role model for Muslim youth. A devout muslim, a calm and centered individual a perfect gentleman and a great batsman. Amla the "new Wall"? I think so. He has same focus technique and modesty that made Rahul Dravid such a formidable and yet respected opponent.

  • POSTED BY DocBindra on | February 18, 2010, 21:39 GMT

    I think SA has a found a "Wall" of their own! Very very impressive, especially Amla's temperament. I am truly impressed by him. I think SA future is safe in his hands once Kallis retires in a couple of years. The lower middle order is a joke though...I think Prince should be done and JP needs some seasoning. Maybe McKenzie needs another look.

  • POSTED BY on | February 18, 2010, 21:37 GMT

    Amla is 'The Wall' of South African team now..he rivals Dravid's patience and mental strength..a class act. Curious to see how he performs in the upcoming ODI series

  • POSTED BY prime.lens on | February 18, 2010, 21:28 GMT

    Well done to Amla. In this series Dale Steyn and Hashim Amla made their mark. They put in their claim to that special circle of greatness to which only a few can aspire. The Indian top order has some such Very Very Special players, but none among the younger players have stood up to be counted quite in this way. The gaping holes that appeared in Nagpur in the absence of Dravid and Laxman should be of concern for India, and South Africa should address the failure of their middle order, especially Prince and Duminy.

  • POSTED BY on | February 18, 2010, 21:03 GMT

    Amla has really masked the very weak batting performance of this SA team in this series. Amazing stamina and mental strength, considering, he practicall spend all the time on the field all 5 days either batting or fielding duirng India's mammoth total. This, in addition, to almost all the time he spent on the field in the first test. This was a once in a life performance.Reminded me of Dravids 231 at Adeliede and coming back again and scoring 70 in the last innings to win the game for India.

    BTW, I don agree that modern player dont have the ability to grind it out like old timers. On th contrary, there are more long-grinding innings in this decade than in the 70s, 80s and 90s. Think Gautam Gambhir, Amla, Dravid, Jayawardene, Sangakara, Lara, Laxman, Hayden grinding it out on over a span of 1.5 to 2 days in difficult conditions in the last 10 years. It's become fashionable in the media to beat up on the skills and application of modern players - which is not supported by facts.

  • POSTED BY on | February 18, 2010, 20:54 GMT

    Amla is the new Hanif Mohammad or Sunil Gavascar or Amla himself

  • POSTED BY sinxad on | February 18, 2010, 20:37 GMT

    Who said theirs no place for old school grinding . It was a fantastic batting display by Amla.I wonder when last Indian spin bowlers were so hopeless against a single batsman when bowling at home.India just gave up trying to get him out.I hope batsman from other countries were taking notes and that includes South African batsman.

  • POSTED BY on | February 18, 2010, 20:00 GMT

    Amla's average prior to this series was a distinctly average 40 (now it is upto 47!) - so this is a major milestone in his career - remains to be seen if he goes back to this old mean or moves up a notch. Not to take anything away form his performance in the series but the guy is a boring batsman.

  • POSTED BY daudbarakat on | February 18, 2010, 19:58 GMT

    Alma is the best. It really was a wonderful performance, and its goot to see that there are still people out there who can maintain the spirit of the pre-20-20 game

  • POSTED BY on | February 18, 2010, 19:54 GMT

    a very good player..a excellent role model

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  • POSTED BY on | February 18, 2010, 19:54 GMT

    a very good player..a excellent role model

  • POSTED BY daudbarakat on | February 18, 2010, 19:58 GMT

    Alma is the best. It really was a wonderful performance, and its goot to see that there are still people out there who can maintain the spirit of the pre-20-20 game

  • POSTED BY on | February 18, 2010, 20:00 GMT

    Amla's average prior to this series was a distinctly average 40 (now it is upto 47!) - so this is a major milestone in his career - remains to be seen if he goes back to this old mean or moves up a notch. Not to take anything away form his performance in the series but the guy is a boring batsman.

  • POSTED BY sinxad on | February 18, 2010, 20:37 GMT

    Who said theirs no place for old school grinding . It was a fantastic batting display by Amla.I wonder when last Indian spin bowlers were so hopeless against a single batsman when bowling at home.India just gave up trying to get him out.I hope batsman from other countries were taking notes and that includes South African batsman.

  • POSTED BY on | February 18, 2010, 20:54 GMT

    Amla is the new Hanif Mohammad or Sunil Gavascar or Amla himself

  • POSTED BY on | February 18, 2010, 21:03 GMT

    Amla has really masked the very weak batting performance of this SA team in this series. Amazing stamina and mental strength, considering, he practicall spend all the time on the field all 5 days either batting or fielding duirng India's mammoth total. This, in addition, to almost all the time he spent on the field in the first test. This was a once in a life performance.Reminded me of Dravids 231 at Adeliede and coming back again and scoring 70 in the last innings to win the game for India.

    BTW, I don agree that modern player dont have the ability to grind it out like old timers. On th contrary, there are more long-grinding innings in this decade than in the 70s, 80s and 90s. Think Gautam Gambhir, Amla, Dravid, Jayawardene, Sangakara, Lara, Laxman, Hayden grinding it out on over a span of 1.5 to 2 days in difficult conditions in the last 10 years. It's become fashionable in the media to beat up on the skills and application of modern players - which is not supported by facts.

  • POSTED BY prime.lens on | February 18, 2010, 21:28 GMT

    Well done to Amla. In this series Dale Steyn and Hashim Amla made their mark. They put in their claim to that special circle of greatness to which only a few can aspire. The Indian top order has some such Very Very Special players, but none among the younger players have stood up to be counted quite in this way. The gaping holes that appeared in Nagpur in the absence of Dravid and Laxman should be of concern for India, and South Africa should address the failure of their middle order, especially Prince and Duminy.

  • POSTED BY on | February 18, 2010, 21:37 GMT

    Amla is 'The Wall' of South African team now..he rivals Dravid's patience and mental strength..a class act. Curious to see how he performs in the upcoming ODI series

  • POSTED BY DocBindra on | February 18, 2010, 21:39 GMT

    I think SA has a found a "Wall" of their own! Very very impressive, especially Amla's temperament. I am truly impressed by him. I think SA future is safe in his hands once Kallis retires in a couple of years. The lower middle order is a joke though...I think Prince should be done and JP needs some seasoning. Maybe McKenzie needs another look.

  • POSTED BY gerardpereira20 on | February 18, 2010, 21:59 GMT

    What a great role model for Muslim youth. A devout muslim, a calm and centered individual a perfect gentleman and a great batsman. Amla the "new Wall"? I think so. He has same focus technique and modesty that made Rahul Dravid such a formidable and yet respected opponent.