Home > Features >

Hashim Amla lays down template for his captaincy with bold declaration against Sri Lanka at Galle

Hashim Amla, the new South African skipper made a bold declaration to set Sri Lanka a target of 370 runs at Galle © Getty Images (File Photo)
Hashim Amla, the new South African skipper made a bold declaration to set Sri Lanka a target of 370 runs at Galle © Getty Images (File Photo)

A cracking contest between in-form Sri Lanka and a South African side rebuilding after the retirement of colossal figures are evenly matched going into the final day of the first Test at Galle. R Vishal looks at past records and explores how things can pan out on the final day at Galle.

Irrespective of the outcome of the Test, Hashim Amla has laid down the template of his captaincy going into the future. South African side under his stewardship will attack and go for a win at every given opportunity. Despite building the side brick-by-brick and assembling a near dream team when he was at the helm, Graeme Smith was occasionally maligned for being conservative. The epic contest at Johannesburg against India presented a chance for the Proteas to chase down a world record total. With  still a few overs remaining at the close of Day five, South Africa decided to play out for a draw. The knives were out and Smith’s side was criticised for not going for the kill.

Amla on the other hand challenged the hosts to score 370 off 122 overs. An audacious move for a first time skipper which could make the bearded batting wizard look stupid, if Sri Lanka chase down the target. As things stand, Sri Lanka marginally hold the upper hand having made a cracking start. Kumar Sangakkara is at the crease and looked in complete control of the proceedings, as Day four drew to a close.

South Africa’s chances

Despite South Africa’s shockingly poor record in Sri Lanka, Amla decided to take a chance. After winning majority of the sessions in the Test, the final session of Day four ended poorly for the visitors. Sangakkara’s magnificent run of form in this calendar year continued after he brought up another half-century and Kaushal Silva looks like he has put a hefty price tag on his wicket.

Dale Steyn’s five-wicket haul in the Island nation in the first innings had the Lankans on the mat. The tearaway pacer dismissed Upul Tharanga early in the second innings too. South Africa’s spin leader, Imran Tahir was dealt with ease and one wonders, if that will cost them dear. The Rainbow Nation continues to search for a world-class spinner to complement their phenomenal pace triumvirate. Tahir will have a huge part to play and must use his subcontinent know-how to full effect.

Steyn has now proved that he can leave batsmen clueless on any track. It is he, who should infuse a dollop of inspiration to his side. Perhaps an early wicket can set the tone.

Sri Lanka’s chances:

As mentioned earlier, Sri Lanka hold the advantage because of their current position and the wealth of batting still left to come. This group of players under Angelo Mathews have the know-how in this calendar year to eke out wins and find men, who can battle adversity. They have looked a little rusty in the Test. Despite needing to score their runs just over a measly two runs per over, history is not on their side. Chasing targets in Sri Lanka, irrespective of the format has turned out to be a herculean task. The batsmen should target Tahir and Duminy’s slow bowling, and nullify Steyn’s ever-present threat. It will be interesting to see the approach Sangakkara and company will adopt.

(R Vishal is a journalist and an alumni of the Asian College of Journalism. He can be followed on Twitter @vishhell)

India tour of Australia 2014, Practice matches

Nov 24, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Glenelg, Adelaide

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 24, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Colombo

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Sharjah

England tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Colombo

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (12:00 IST)   at Dhaka

More

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 23, 2014  at Chittagong

Bangladesh won by 68 runs

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 23, 2014  at Sydney

Australia won by 2 wickets (D/L method)

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 22, 2014  at Dambulla

Match abandoned without a ball being bowled

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 21, 2014  at Dambulla

Match abandoned without a ball being bowled

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 21, 2014  at Chittagong

Bangladesh won by 87 runs

Photos

Australia vs South Africa, 3rd ODI at Canberra

Videos

SL vs Eng: Buttler practices wicketkeeping in nets

Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe 2014, 2nd ODI at Chittagong: Highlights

Australia vs South Africa 2014, 5th ODI at Sydney: Highlights

Quinton de Kock’s century in vain as Australia register two wicket win over South Africa

Saeed Ajmal: 99 per cent bowlers will fail 15 degree test

Tamim Iqbal, Anamul Haque register second-highest opening partnership for Bangladesh in ODIs

Australia Australia vs South Africa Australia vs South Africa 2014 Bangladesh Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe 2014 India New Zealand Pakistan South Africa South Africa tour of Australia 2014 South Africa vs Australia South Africa vs Australia 2014 Zimbabwe Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh 2014 Zimbabwe vs Bangladesh Zimbabwe vs Bangladesh 2014

Ravi Shastri, Duncan Fletcher miss India’s first tour game in Australia

Indians vs Cricket Australia XI, 1st tour game: Aussies fumble to 159/7 at tea

IPL 2013 spot-fixing and betting scandal: Supreme Court hearing on Mudgal panel to resume today

Indians vs Cricket Australia XI, 1st Tour Game at Adelaide: Pacers ensure advantage at Lunch

Live Cricket Score: Indians vs Cricket Australia XI, 1st Practice Match at Adelaide

Myth Busting — did Sachin Tendulkar’s rate of scoring become slower in the second half of his career?

Single-wicket cricket match between John Grange and James Sadler lasts three days

Bill Ashdown and Bert Wensley beat a team of 11 all by themselves

Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina in interesting tussle ahead of India’s Test series against Australia

Vijay Hazare Trophy 2014-15: Robin Uthappa, Yuvraj Singh, Manish Pandey will get another chance to impress in final

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

681 Posts | 6 Fans

Video Highlights: Virat Kohli vs Australian cricketers

Watch Free Live Streaming & Telecast of Indian Super League (ISL) 2014 Football 37th Match between Kerala Blasters FC vs Atletico de Kolkata

PK Tharki Chokro making: Rancho aka Aamir Khan and Munna Bhai aka Sanjay Dutt shake legs to this folk number

Simbu-Hansika’s Vaalu slated for Christmas release!

Yeh Hai Mohabbatein: Will Raman and Ishita help Mihika with her plans?

Alibaba to launch its Taobao marketplace in international markets: Reuters

8 reasons to add rosemary to your diet

eBay India ‘Black Friday’ sale kicks off today

How many calories do bananas have?

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here