Bavuma can get to the top

WORKAHOLIC: Hashim Amla said Temba Bavuma is inspirational.  Photo: Jaco Marais
WORKAHOLIC: Hashim Amla said Temba Bavuma is inspirational. Photo: Jaco Marais

HASHIM AMLA (32) has played 90 test matches for his country, scoring 24 centuries since his debut in 2004.

Temba Bavuma scored his first test 100 this week.

On the surface, there appears to be little connecting the two players – one having carved a name for himself as a great of the game, while the other is in the infancy of his international career.

But Amla, speaking soon after he shocked the country by announcing his resignation as test captain, said he saw similarities between himself and the 25-year-old Bavuma.

“We both have probably had very similar careers . . . the first time we both played international cricket, everybody doubts you either because of the colour of your skin or for various reasons.

“Even though you’ve got the stats to back it up domestically,” said Amla.

Amla was heavily criticised for his technique and unorthodox backlift when he first appeared on the international stage.

Bavuma’s test average now looks a far healthier 35.28 after his gorgeous 102* on Tuesday, 5 January.

Amla said that watching that innings from the sidelines were something special.

“The way Temba batted in this match was very inspirational to even guys like me.

“The intent he showed . . . I wish when I was his age I showed that type of confidence and intent,” said Amla.

“Everybody in the team knew how talented he is and the potential he has, because he has done it before.

“So I was extremely happy and very proud . . . goosebumps moments for everybody in the team because we knew the pressure he was under.

“Personally, I know the pressure that players of colour go through when they first come into the setup.

“So it was emotional for a lot of us.”

Amla added that he saw no reason why Bavuma could not make his way into the national squads for the shorter formats based on what he delivered on Tuesday.

The way Temba batted in this match was very inspirational to even guys like me.

The intent he showed . . . I wish when I was his age I showed that type of confidence and intent – Hashim Amla

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