Amla admits batting woes, wants to retain captaincy

Hashim Amla (Gallo Images)
Hashim Amla (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Proteas captain, Hashim Amla, has admitted that it is time for him to start leading from the front with the bat following his team’s 241-run loss to England in the first Sunfoil Test at Sahara Stadium Kingsmead on Wednesday.

Amla attributed the continued batting woes to a lack of confidence rather than poor technique, and says it’s his responsibility as captain to lead with performances so that the rest can follow.

“It’s been disappointing for everybody,” he said after the match. “I certainly think it’s a confidence thing and we don’t know how long it will go on for but we hope that we are close to turning it around. Dean (Elgar) started it off brilliantly, his hundred has been the positive light from this Test match for us. He batted well in India and the way he batted in this game is a good lesson for everyone.  

“I think this match and probably Delhi,” he said of the lowlights of the year. “I think because the wickets were good cricket wickets and we didn’t manage to capitalise on that. I think it’s part of the game, we were in a good position and getting England out for 300 was probably 30 runs more than we wanted. Not scoring the runs has been our Achilles’ heel for a couple of Test matches, that’s probably the most disappointing.”  

Amla started off his captaincy tenure in 2014 with series wins against Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka and the West Indies, but in 2015 his record is less rosy, with a rain-affected drawn series against Bangladesh and the loss to India last month. He says his hunger and desire to captain South Africa is bigger than before, and is determined  to start the new year positively after a ‘tough’ 2015.

“I have been disappointed not to get the runs that I’ve wanted to,” he said. “It started off well last year when I got some runs but not being able to maintain it has been disappointing. Certainly as captain you want to lead from the front. Hopefully I can turn it around in the next match, start leading from the front by getting the runs on the board so that the boys can follow.

“I definitely do,” he when asked if he wanted to continue with the captaincy. “I’ve enjoyed every minute of it and it’s just been disappointing not to get the runs. In the middle of a Test series like this the hunger to get runs on the board is getting more.”

Proteas coach, Russell Domingo, also gave more clarity on the two additions to the squad  for the second Test in Cape Town starting on January 2nd. Dale Steyn will have a fitness test on Friday to determine his availability for the match.

“Chris Morris has good four-day figures,” Domingo said. “He played in the South Africa A game against England and because there is uncertainty regarding Dale Steyn’s fitness for the second Test we feel that Morris is the guy that can do the job. AB de Villiers’s workload is something that is always being discussed and something I will discuss with the selectors once again. We will have to look at all the factors before we decide who will keep wicket in Cape Town.”

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