Hash as calm as ever

2014-07-30 00:00

KEMPTON PARK — “I will take every Test as it comes and show the game the respect it deserves.”

These were the words of the new South African Test captain Hashim Amla on the leadership style he showed in Sri Lanka.

It was his positive decision to keep the door open for the home team in the first Test in Galle that helped to ensure a series win.

He surprised everyone when he declared at tea time on the fourth day to give the Sri Lankans a reachable target of 370 runs.

“I have to be honest, I thought we had to bat longer,” said deputy and One-Day captain AB de Villiers. “I wondered if Hash did the right thing,” he added.

Amla admitted he was a bit nervous when Sri Lanka only had to make 260 runs on the last day with nine wickets standing.

“I won’t say I will always take such decisions, but every Test is unique and every situation differs from the previous one.

“This team however have a deep belief in their own ability. We have a passion and a hunger to play for our country.”

He said the team stood together and individual interests were not put forward.

Proteas coach Russell Domingo said it was wonderful for him to have Amla and De Villiers as captains.

“We have a good working relationship and work as a unit. We don’t always agree about everything but we listen to each other and the most important is that we respect each other’s views.”

He said Amla also exuded a calmness as captain, which did wonders for the team.

Domingo singled out Morné Morkel as the unsung hero of the Test series.

“He took 12 wickets in the series and was in his quiet way one of the reasons why we could win,” Domingo said.

Amla said Morkel’s calmness was amazing and what he achieved, phenomenal.

Although the last day of the Test in Colombo was very intense and nerve-wracking, there were also a few comical moments in the dressing room as some of the players were just about ready to do a rain dance.

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