Hashim Amla warns against complacency
Hashim Amla, the South Africa batsman, has warned against complacency following his team's series wins over Zimbabwe in the two limited-overs formats at home. Amid South Africa's success, Amla has been enjoying a prolific run. This year, he's scored four centuries - including two this ODI series - and two fifties in nine games but has said the tour of the UAE where South Africa play Pakistan in all three formats will be a different challenge altogether.
"We're under no illusions about our performances here. Although it's been a good start for us, we know against Pakistan it won't be anything like this," Amla said. "We know how tough it's going to be there, but by the same token we're just trying to get some good form going in the batting and bowling departments.
"It's a lovely feeling going into the last game knowing you've actually won the series and the mindset is to try and keep building especially before we take on Pakistan."
South Africa have been ruthless against the Zimbabwe bowlers this series but their own performance with the ball and in the field has been below-par, with the visitors posting scores of 250-plus in each of the ODIs. "Fortunately, batting-wise, we've done well, but still need to do a bit more work in the bowling department," Amla said. "Fielding is a discipline like batting and bowling, and we're gaining more and more ground with every game.
"We have been a bit sloppy and dropped one or two catches, but we'd rather have it now than during a big series against India or Pakistan or even in the World Cup.
"Yes, we've started slowly, but we're building momentum and that's how we've looked at this series against Zimbabwe. We're under no illusion that we're suddenly world-beaters after winning the series against Zimbabwe. We still have some tough times ahead of us against Pakistan who, on any given day, can be world-beaters themselves."
South Africa play Zimbabwe in a dead rubber, the final ODI of the series in Benoni, on Thursday. "Our batting has been consistent especially against such a big team like South Africa," Elton Chigbumbura, the Zimbabwe captain, said. "We're going in the right direction, but our bowlers need a lot more practice and need to gain more control."
South Africa have rested fast bowler Dale Steyn and allrounder Jacques Kallis for this series while Morne Morkel suffered an injury to his ankle early in the tour.