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)

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 20, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Kolkata

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Dubai

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (19:00 IST)   at Cuttack

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 24, 2014 (03:00 IST)   at Mount Maunganui

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Oct 25, 2014 (09:00 IST)   at Dhaka

More

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 21, 2014  at Mount Maunganui

South Africa won by 6 wkts

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 17, 2014  at Dharamsala

India won by 59 runs

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 14, 2014  at Visakhapatnam

Match cancelled

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 12, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

Australia won by 1 run

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 11, 2014  at Delhi

India won by 48 runs

Photos

India vs West Indies 4th ODI at Dharamsala

Videos

AB de Villiers speaks ahead of New Zealand ODIs

South Africa vs New Zealand 2014: 5 memorable matches

Yasir Shah: The new spinning sensation for Pakistan

Virat Kohli takes wicket with the first (0th?) ball of his T20I career

Kevin Pietersen’s autobiography — a litany of complaints with a few redeeming patches

Banning West Indian players in IPL can affect the ‘Brand value’ of the event – Will BCCI take this gamble?

Australia Australia tour of UAE 2014 BCCI India India vs West Indies India vs West Indies 2014 New Zealand Pakistan Salaam Cricket South Africa West Indies West Indies cancel India tour 2014 West Indies tour of India 2014 West Indies vs India West Indies vs India 2014

AB de Villiers, JP Duminy help South Africa trump New Zealand by 6 wickets in 1st ODI

Roshan Mahanama reaches 200 ODIs as ICC Elite Panel umpire

Pat Cummins set to return for Australia during T20Is against South Africa

Shane Watson desperate to make comeback

New Zealand restricted to 230 in 1st ODI against South Africa

Virat Kohli becomes fastest to 20 ODI hundreds

A Pakistan all-time XI: A galaxy of captains

James Neesham can provide more impetus to New Zealand’s weakened batting up the order

Virender Sehwag turns 36: Five most memorable innings of the Nawab of Najafgarh

New Zealand begin ICC World Cup 2015 preparations with 15 ODIs in store

Fan of the Day

Gautam Singh

Gautam Singh

474 Posts | 5 Fans

Video Highlights Mohammed Yousuf drops catch after watching a girl in bikini

सेक्स टिप # 13: महिलाओं में कामेच्छा (low libido) की समस्या

Shane Watson desperate to make comeback

NGOs pursue education for all

Pat Cummins set to return for Australia during T20Is against South Africa

IBM to pay $1.5 billion to GlobalFoundries to buy its chip division

Happy New Year’s Boman Irani cuts a sorry figure at Dia Mirza-Sahil Sangha wedding!

आपकी दिवाली खुशनुमा, सुरक्षित और शुभ हो

Movies to watch this week: Happy New Year!

Diwali 2014 Special: Top 9 delicious dishes to enhance your taste buds

Narendra Modi personified Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva of popularity at Madison Square Garden

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here