Amla poised to lead South Africa into new Test era

  • Reuters, Cape Town
  • Updated: Jul 16, 2014 01:12 IST

South African Test cricket will usher in a new era under captain Hashim Amla on Wednesday when the country's first permanent non-white skipper leads the side out against Sri Lanka in Galle. Top order batsman Amla replaces the colossus Graeme Smith who led the side for a decade.

Both men share similar traits regarding their will to win but in terms of personality, it would be hard to find two people from more opposite ends of the spectrum.

Smith was bullish, controversial and his bristling self-confidence often mistaken for arrogance. He was a born leader.

Amla has a quiet demeanour, comes across as a little too humble at times and has shied away from leadership positions in limited-overs formats in recent years. That has led to him being known in the South African dressing room as the 'Silent Warrior'.

Good form
Where Amla and Smith are similar is that both lead by example on the field, the weight of their runs and ability to turn in match-winning performances earning them respect the world over.

Amla also comes into the first match of the two-test series in good form gained during a spell with English County Surrey, where, ironically, he replaced Smith after the latter injured his knee.

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