The great Hashim Amla is playing his 100th Test match for South Africa. It had been a wonderful journey so far. A journey full of artistic strokes and big knocks. The mad had a great impact on South Africa’s dominance in Test cricket for a brief period.
I am going to make a big call and say Hash (Amla) is probably going to be the last guy that plays 100 Tests for South Africa because of the way that the game is changing,” Du Plessis said in a media interaction before the start of the third Test match against Sri Lanka at Johannesburg.
Adding onto that he said ” It’s a massive call to make. Test cricket these days, the game has evolved so much. If you look at Hashim and AB (De Villiers) and Jacques (Kallis) and Graeme (Smith) and all those guys, it was a period of a lot of Test cricket that was played over a long period of time. Now, there’s lots of T20s, so I think the game is changing a little bit, that you won’t play for as long because there is so much more cricket,” Du Plessis said. “What I mean by that, is that it’s really special for Hash to do something like that. ”
Amla’s debut in Test matches dates back to 2004 when he played his first Test match against India at Eden Gardens. Since then, he has been the mainstay of the South African middle-order alongside the likes of Jacques Kallis, AB De Villiers and Faf Du Plessis.
Amla, who is playing his 100th test match today will be the eighth South African player to reach the landmark.
Most Test matches for South Africa
|AB de Villiers||2004-2016||106|
Also Amla is placed fourth with the most number of runs scored after 99 test matches. Below given is the complete list of players.
Most runs for South Africa after 99 Tests
|AB de Villiers||7685||51.92||21||37|
Having played closely with Amla for so many years, skipper Faf du Plessis was no short of words describing his contribution of this great South African cricketer.
As true to Hash is, it’s another game for him,” said du Plessis. “He doesn’t want any shine, any attention coming towards him. He just wants to rock up and play another game of cricket. I’d like to make it extra special for him, but I know that’s something… that’s not Hash. Hash just wants the focus to go back onto the team.”
Adding on to the consistency Du Plessis added, “He has been the rock of our batting. He has been the most consistent player I reckon with Jacques Kallis that South Africa have ever had. Off the top of my head, he has had two lean patches in his career. It feels like I can go through a lean patch any time, but with Hashim it just doesn’t happen. Of course, he is not scoring as many runs now, but it’s normal.”
Du Plessis also said that there is a lot to learn from Amla the player who is not bothered too much by failures and success. It’s his routine practice that has made him the player that he is today and that is something which one can learn from his game. This is exactly what he said ” For me, what he brings off the field still offers a lot. What he has done to my game is the fact that Hashim when he is scoring runs or when he is not scoring runs is exactly the same person and that brings a calmness to the dressing room. Even when he is not scoring runs, he is offering a lot of value and for me as a player, I’ve learned a lot from that.”
Du Plessis expects the likes of Quinton de Kock (24years) and Kagiso Rabada (21 years) with 15 and 13 Test matches respectively can possibly achieve that feat, but they still have a long way to go.
Here is a look at the average age of the players selected for third test against Sri Lanka
|Faf du Plessis||36||32|
|Theunis de Bruyn||0||24|
|Quinton de Kock||15||24|
Note: This post is a joint work of Anshuman Roy and Bhaskar Ganekar