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 in South Africa, 2014-15

Dec 17, 2014 (14:00 IST)   at Centurion

India tour of Australia, 2014-15

Dec 17, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Woolloongabba, Brisbane

West Indies in South Africa, 2014-15

Dec 26, 2014 (14:00 IST)   at Port Elizabeth

Sri Lanka tour of New Zealand, 2014-15

Dec 26, 2014 (03:30 IST)   at Christchurch

India tour of Australia, 2014-15

Dec 26, 2014 (05:00 IST)   at Melbourne

More

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Dec 19, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

New Zealand won by 68 runs

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Dec 17, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

New Zealand won by 7 runs

England tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Dec 16, 2014  at Colombo

Sri Lanka won by 87 runs

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Dec 14, 2014  at Sharjah

Pakistan won by 147 runs

England tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Dec 13, 2014  at Pallekele

Sri Lanka won by 90 runs

Photos

India vs Australia, 2nd Test at Brisbane

Videos

Josh Hazlewood looks back at his 5-wicket haul

India vs Australia 2014-15, 2nd Test at Brisbane, Day 4: India 9 down, they were 127 runs ahead

Pakistan vs New Zealand, 5th ODI at Abu Dhabi: Key clashes

Live Cricket Score, South Africa vs West Indies,1st Test, Day 3 at Centurion: Samuels and Chanderpaul rebuild for West Indies

Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014, 5th ODI at Abu Dhabi Preview: Teams prepare for high-octane finale

Anil Kumble Australia India Ishant Sharma Moments in history Ravichandran Ashwin Ricky Ponting South Africa

India vs Australia, 2nd Test at Brisbane, Day 4: David Warner dismissed by Ishant Sharma

India bowled out for 224; set Australia 128 to win 2nd Test at Brisbane

India vs Australia, 2nd Test at Brisbane, Day 4: Shikhar Dhawan dismissed for 81

India vs Australia, 2nd Test at Brisbane, Day 4: Shikhar Dhawan scores fighting half-century

India vs Australia 2014-15, 2nd Test at Brisbane: Team India complains about practice pitches as Shikhar Dhawan is injured before play

New Zealand vs Pakistan, 5th ODI at Abu Dhabi: Marks out of 10 for Kiwis

India vs Australia, 2nd Test at Brisbane: India’s tail tales

India vs Australia, 2nd Test at Brisbane: India’s tail ought to take leaf out of Australian tail’s book

India vs Australia 2nd Test at Brisbane, Day 3: India’s pathetic bowling performance, Mitchell Johnson’s onslaught and other highlights

India’s inability to dismiss Australia’s tail can have huge impact

Fan of the Day

Suraj Gowda

Suraj Gowda

653 Posts | 10 Fans

India vs Australia: Murali Vijay's 144, Video highlights

प्रसिद्ध कथक नृत्यांगना सितारा देवी नहीं रही

More broadband connections to boost GDP growth in Asia Pacific: GSMA

India is becoming our largest overseas market, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun says

Bigg Boss 8: Ali Quli Mirza, Renee Dhyani, Upen Patel, Praneet Bhatt, Sonali Raut – who should be evicted this week?

Revealed: The reason why Kishore Kumar’s biopic starring Ranbir Kapoor won’t feature Katrina Kaif!

अभिनेत्री प्रियंका चोपड़ा ने स्वच्छ भारत अभियान में हिस्सा लिया

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here