Home > Features >

India vs South Africa ICC World T20 2014 semi-final: Hashim Amla — master across all formats

With explosive batsmen like Faf du Plessis, AB de Villiers and David Miller in the team, Hashim Amla's steady starts often go unnoticed © Getty Images
With explosive batsmen like Faf du Plessis, AB de Villiers and David Miller in the team, Hashim Amla’s steady starts often go unnoticed © Getty Images

As India take on South Africa in ICC World T20 2014 semi-final at Dhaka, Hashim Amla could well play a crucial role in the explosive South African batting line-up. The right-handed batsman with his incontrovertible self-belief has crossed many hurdles to make his mark across formats. Bharath Ramaraj looks at the lynchpin in South African batting line-up across formats.

One of the key challenges for a modern day cricketer is to adapt across all three formats of the game. It becomes even more difficult when someone is branded merely as a Test batsman or Twenty20 (T20) batsman.

South Africa’s Hashim Amla was one of them who was never expected to scale great heights in the shorter versions of the game. In fact, selectors didn’t even plump for him for the abridged versions of the game for many years. It took almost four years for him to be picked in the One-Day International (ODI) squad and no less than five to make his debut in Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is). However, in a short space of time, he has turned around his game, especially in ODIs. When India take on South Africa in ICC World T20 2014, they will be looking up to him to stand toe-to-toe against Indian bowlers and script South Africa’s path to the final.

Amla is a batsman who even in T20Is sticks to the pillars of strength that have helped him to succeed in Tests. He doesn’t necessarily come dancing down the wicket to play an agricultural hoick across the line or play most of those fancy shots.  For him, it is mainly about piercing gaps in the field with dexterous wrists.

The essence of his batsmanship can be seen by the way he played against England during the Group stages of ICC World T20 2014. He waited for the loose ball and when it came, he duly dispatched to the boundary boards with his felicitous strokes. Those surgical-like hands were in full flow that night. Every time, Jade Dernbach bowled on a batsman’s pads, he nonchalantly flicked it through the on-side.  During the second over of the game, when Amla played with unruffled grace to essay a flick off a delivery that was on the shorter side for a six, it sent the crowd into a tizzy.

It still has to be said that comparatively his record in T20Is is not spectacular. Actually, the fifty he compiled against England was his first in the format. His batting average of 25.13 and a strike rate of 121.94 are not world-class. But make no mistake, here is one batsman who every-time has been asked to pass the trial by fire has done it with flying colours.

The supposedly stereotype Test match player has come a long way since the days when he used to play shots straight to the fielder. He now can bisect the gaps in the field with utmost ease.

The high voltage contest between India and South Africa has many subplots to look forward to. One of them is how Amla with his Asian wrists is able to engineer South Africa to a fine total against the wily Indian spinners.

ICC World T20 2014 schedule: Match time table with venue details

(Bharath Ramaraj, an MBA in marketing, eats, drinks and sleeps cricket. He has played at school and college-level, and now channelises his passion for the game by writing about it)

World T20 League 2014

Sep 20, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Mohali

World T20 League 2014

Sep 20, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Mohali

World T20 League 2014

Sep 21, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Hyderabad

World T20 League 2014

Sep 21, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Hyderabad

World T20 League 2014

Sep 22, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Bengaluru

More

World T20 League 2014

Sep 19, 2014  at Raipur

NK won by 33 runs (D/L method)

World T20 League 2014

Sep 18, 2014  at Mohali

Kings XI Punjab won by 5 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 17, 2014  at Hyderabad

Kolkata Knight Riders won by 3 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 16, 2014  at Raipur

Northern Knights won by 6 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 16, 2014  at Raipur

Lahore Lions won by 55 runs

Photos

CSK vs KKR, Match 1 CLT20 2014

Videos

Anderson plays golf with Jaguar competition winners

Live Cricket Score Cape Cobras vs Northern Knights, CLT20 2014: Northern Knights win by 33 runs via D/L method

Furious MS Dhoni and CSK check out of Hyderabad hotel following Biryani episode

Chris Cairns cleaning bus shelters? Why?

Herbert Chang: The Jamaican of Chinese origin who wasted his life in South Africa

Champions League T20 (CLT20) 2014: Kings XI Punjab’s batting gets the extra punch with Thisara Perera’s inclusion

Cape Cobras Champions League T20 Champions League T20 2014 Chennai Super Kings CLT20 CLT20 2014 CSK vs KKR Hobart Hurricanes Hobart Hurricanes vs Kings XI Punjab Kings XI Punjab Kings XI Punjab vs Hobart Hurricanes KKR vs CSK Kolkata Knight Riders Northern Knights Pakistan

Ashwell Prince plays down talk of ‘racist’ abuse

Ian Bell out of county final against Durham due to toe injury

Kane Williamson: Always trying to work on my shots

Northern Knights win by 33 runs through D/L method against Cape Cobras in CLT20 2014, 3rd match

Cape Cobras consolidate after early breakthrough against Northern Knights in CLT20 2014, 3rd match

Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) vs Barbados Tridents CLT20 2014 Match 5: KXIP’s likely XI

Champions League T20 (CLT20) 2014: Kane Williamson’s ton for Northern Knights against Cape Cobras proves that T20 isn’t all about slogging

Northern Knights vs Cape Cobras in CLT20 2014, 3rd match: 5 talking points

Ramesh Saxena: The Bihar mainstay with a restricted Test career

Pananmal Punjabi: A nonagenarian Test opener

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

669 Posts | 6 Fans

Video Highlights: Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) vs Hobart Hurricanes (HH) CLT20 2014

5 things that make Sonam Kapoor’s Khoobsurat different from Rekha’s original

Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) vs Barbados Tridents (BT) Preview: Group B Match 5 of Champions League T20 2014 (CLT20)

खाना को चबाने के पाँच फ़ायदें

Dolphins (DOL) vs Perth Scorchers (PRS) Preview: Group A Match 4 of Champions League T20 2014 (CLT20)

Alibaba shares debut at $92.70 on New York Stock Exchange

iPhone 6 launch: Tim Cook kicks off sale at Palo Alto Retail Store, obliges fans with selfies

Qubool Hai: Will Aahil make Sanam cry?

सेक्स टिप #2: केला खाकर अपने सेक्स लाइफ को बनाए बेहतर

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here