Proteas motivated by lack of success against Aussies in SA – Amla

2014-02-10 15:28

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South Africa has not won a test series at home against Australia since readmission and that is all the motivation the team needs to win the series, says Hashim Amla.

South Africa’s number three batsman has been part of two successive triumphs in Australia but acknowledged that the box needs to be ticked off.

“It is a motivational aspect in one way but on the other, it’s not something we dwell on much. We have had success against Australia over the past few years, even though it has been away from home, so it would be nice to translate it into something more tangible at home,” Amla said.

“The last time they were here in 2011/12, it was a short but very good series; we won well in Cape Town but had a narrow reverse in Johannesburg. Both teams are very competitive but we hope we can get our victory at home.”

If there is one thing that will not catch the home team with their pants down, it is the Mitchell Johnson factor. One of the reasons England struggled badly against him was that he did not always rise to the England challenge as most Australian cricketers do.

With this being Johnson’s third trip to South Africa, allied with his good performances in the country, Amla said there would not be a surprise factor when dealing with the ultra-fast Johnson.

“A surprise factor is valuable for any team, but I doubt there will be any surprises as both teams have played regularly against each other, so there won’t be that moment where one could get caught in the headlights,” Amla said.

If there is one thing Amla seems comfortable with, it is Jacques Kallis’ absence from the test team. Amla was the batsman who made Kallis’ move to number four possible and, as a senior player, he is well aware of the responsibility that lies ahead of him.

He said it was something he was ready for.

“I don’t think I will play more of a senior role than I have been playing at the moment. You are not going to replace someone like Jacques in a hurry but by the same token, it has given the team a different dynamic. We all knew Jacques would have to retire at some point and there was a contingency plan for that. It will be exciting to have a team with a different type of flavour,” Amla said.

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