Hashim Amla is a bit too good

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< 1 minute read

Hashim Amla is not new. He’s been bearding hundreds for many years now. It is therefore no surprise that his second innings hundred tipped the balance from ‘could go either way’ to ‘very probably a South Africa win’. Vernon Philander’s two late wickets then shoved it to ‘almost certainly a South Africa win’ but he can thank Amla for giving him the opportunity to do that.

Going into the final day, all results are at least technically still possible, so for the most part it’s been a fairly even Test. ‘Fairly even’ doesn’t mean ‘destined for a draw’. It means one side has had to play well to get into a position of dominance and Amla’s contribution looks most influential.

It’s not just England’s specialist batsmen who have been found wanting in this match. Take Amla’s hundred out and South Africa’s top six have actually only scored 14 runs between them. This is a lie – but not that big a lie.

However, with batsmen like Amla, it’s not just about the shots or the runs; it’s the sense you get when he’s batting. It just doesn’t feel like he’s ever going to get out. We don’t know much about professionalism, but Amla’s helmet and clothes must reek of it. Professionalism smells, right?


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  1. Marvellous day at headquarters today. Saw lots of gents wearing red trousers. Had a pint of Marstons Pedigree. Took too much food. Felt a bit sleepy. Lovely stuff.

    1. The best bit of the day came just after tea as I was standing in line to buy a drink.

      The gentleman in front of me turned round, put his face a bit too close to mine and said “Well, I’m certainly not missing Pietersen.”

      I hadn’t asked.

    1. Well, when you play three Tests against the same opposition in one year, you have to be wary of viewer fatigue.

      As we know, that’s something they always worry about.

  2. I wish to resurrect the vital Pietersen question.

    I know you haven’t asked, KC, but like the red-trousered philanthropist in the Pedigree queue, I feel obliged to raise the matter.

    Now that the allegations specifically include the supply of sensitive information to the oppo:


    …does the Pietersen imbroglio now comprise a “gate”?

    I know you ruled on this matter on 15 August in “England’s next batsmen”, KC. I am not questioning your majesties decision on that delivery, but I think the Sunday Times/Mail on Sunday/BBC allegations comprise a further delivery.

    In my view, you were quite right to conclude, previously, that the affair was not a “gate”, but the allegations of spying/passing information to the oppo make the story distinctly gateworthy now.

    Oh for a bungled break in and some loyal but clumsy Cubans to add to the mix.

    1. Full text of text in full:

      “How is it, AB. That Straussy, ‘e’s a dik-dik let me tell yu. Yu want to know how to get ‘im out? Turn up and bowl at ‘im, that should du the trick.”

      But whatever the wrongs and wrongs of all of this, KP’s finished. He’s ruffled feathers, and if there is one thing the English cricket establishment won’t put up with, it’s having feathers ruffled. It’s against the dress code for one thing.

      So from needing a new #6, we now need a new #6, a new #4, and without a shadow of doubt a new #1. Strauss’s inability to score any runs was acceptable only as long as he could be painted as The Great Leader who brings the best out of everyone around him. Now he is just another journeyman captain who isn’t worth his place as either a batsman or as a motivator. It’s not as if there aren’t alternative captains in the team.

      In several ways, it’s time to move on.

    2. Is that really the full text of the text? It seems like it really could be. Or maybe Bert is just a very accurate spoofer.

    3. Here’s the thing. You english bastards have it all wrong.
      You think your ‘traditional’ style of play involves stonewallers like Boycott. The B’s you should concentrate on are the style of Botham and Bairstow, thats what I associate as ‘English’.
      And if you can grow up there’s a P there for you too.

    4. Cracking inclusion of ‘bastards’ there, Wolf.

      Why merely address a group of people when you could address them and also call them bastards?

  3. There is no doubt that Hashim Amla is the greatest and legend cricketer of the world not only of south Africa. He is the backbone of South African baiting line and trump card of this squad.

    1. Sorry, livescore. I forgot that I promised to change your name this time instead of removing your link. Would you mind if I rechristened you ‘Spam Website’?

  4. Are you really proposing a 90’s style knee jerk “baby out with the bathwater” reaction, Bert? Shame on you.

    All the England top order have struggled against the best pace attack in the world in often helpful conditions. But we won’t be facing them again (rightly or wrongly) until 2015.

    Besides, the thought of that gloop Smith believing that he got rid of three England captains in three goes for the rest of his life…

    …cheer yourselves up with this idea that did the rounds yesterday when word got out that KP fell for a primary at Hants. Apparently Andy Strauss had texted Jimmy Adams, the Hants captain, to suggest the use of mediocre left-arm spin against KP. It’s a gate I tell you, it’s a gate.

    1. It’s less a knee-jerk, more a knee-gentle-and-unstoppable-movement-towards-an-inevitable-conclusion-drawn-out-over-a-couple-of-years.

      Strauss has been on borrowed time for a two years now, batting wise (average 32). There’s no question he’d have been dropped a long time ago if he wasn’t captain. I’ve never been a fan of his captaincy – his (or someone’s) decisions in the second test were just awful. So of the three things a captain is there to do, he fails on two. On the other (team spirit), make your own mind up.

      He is (apparently) the most successful captain in recent English history. As with most successful captains, this happened to coincide with having the (now 2nd) best bowling attack in the world.

      Now that we’re without a major piece in our batting jigsaw (due to his own stupidity), the openers are critical to batting success. There simply isn’t the option to carry him any longer. KP’s ability to build an innings was all that was keeping him in the team.

    2. I agree with you. I’d keep Strauss in the side just to spite Smith, if nothing else – but as pointed out by Bert, the side is already two batsmen short of a top order.

      Trying to turn Bell or Trott into openers and trying to coax a decent performance out of Bopara or Morgan, or introducing yet another new batsmen in the form of (presumably) Compton while Bairstow and Taylor settle in doesn’t bear thinking about.

      It would be easier if any of Trott, Cook, Bell or Prior were in the runs but they all seem as out of form as anyone – it’s almost as if they’re all batting against the same world class attack.

  5. I am beginning to suspect that Sir Geoffrey has voodoo dolls made of any batsmen who approach 22 Test Match Centuries.

  6. Being No.1 nowadays seems to last about a year, so we can expect somebody else to take it from south africa this time next year. Just get Gary Kirsten away from them.

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