Amla’s calm back to boost Dolphins

2010-11-25 00:00

The KZN Dolphins welcomes international star Hashim Amla back to their MTN40 Championship squad to face the Chevrolet Knights in Sunday’s first semi-final.

Amla chalked up 1 000 runs in Test cricket for 2010 in the second Test against Pakistan this week, and will provide the Dolphins’ top-order with a touch of class and serenity.

Initially dubbed too predictable for limited-overs, Amla has shown at the highest level there is no substitute for class, and is now a lynchpin in the Proteas’ ODI set-up, too.

Amla’s role as a dependable foil to the bashers that he usually partners in limited overs cricket will be crucial to the Dolphins.

And, in recent times, Amla has stepped up his aggression whilst still playing “normal” shots.

Quite what “normal” is these days is debatable, but Amla hasn’t felt the need to resort to fancy flicks, sashays across the stumps and swipes across the line to make his runs in the hurly-burly of hit-and-giggle cricket.

The Dolphins, with dashing young sluggers littered across the middle-order, will now have Amla and the now pivotal Ravi Bopara to lean on as the competition heads towards its climax.

Chuck in the pair of powerful lefties, David Miller and Vaughn van Jaarsveld, and it suddenly looks a pretty potent batting unit.

It will be interesting to see which batsman misses out from the 15-man squad, especially with all the batters having contributed at some point this term.

Where the Dolphins are pretty settled is in the spin department.

Imraan Tahir has stood head and shoulders above anyone else in the country this season, and he has taken his Supersport Series form into the MTN40.

Though fellow wrist-spinner Tabraiz Shamsi has suffered injury, a rejuvenated Keshav Maharaj has been called up and he has certainly not let the side down.

 

Squad:

Imraan Khan (Captain), Hashim Amla, Ahmed Amla, Ravi Bopara, David Miller, Vaughn van Jaarsveld, Glen Addicott, Jon Kent, Divan van Wyk, Daryn Smit, Kyle Abbott, Quinton Friend, Imran Tahir, Keshav Maharaj, Mthokozisi Shezi.

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