Cape Town - Former Australian captain Michael Clarke says he hated captaining when Proteas stalwart Hashim Amla was at the crease.
Amla will on Thursday become the eighth South African to reach 100 Test caps when the Proteas take on Sri Lanka in the third Test in Johannesburg.
Speaking to Cricket South Africa (CSA) during last year's tour of Australia, Clarke spoke fondly of Amla, who called a "lovely man".
"I always hated having to captain against him because he's so hard to set field to," said Clarke.
"He bases his game around a great defence and he finds ways to be successful across all three formats.
"The game of cricket is hard so he goes through some tough times but it shows his character to be able to sustain that, get through that and turn things around."
Amla currently averages 49.45 with the bat and has scored 25 Test hundreds. He remains the only South African to have carded a triple century when he scored 311* against England at the Oval back in 2012.
"I'm not a big one for statistics. I never really cared much about statistics when I played. It was more the way you played and the way you helped your team have success," said Clarke.
"Hash has certainly done that for South Africa over a long period of time. But if you look at his statistics, it shows what a great player he is.
"More importantly, he's a lovely man. On behalf of all of Australia, I'd like to congratulate him on playing 100 Test matches."
Amla has played 17 Test matches against the Aussies at a healthy average of 45.93, scoring 5 centuries.