Josh Hazlewood 5, Hashim Amla 0.
If this was a scoreline between two nations, then Hazlewood has whitewashed Amla. In the current Test series between Australia and South Africa, the Proteas have done almost everything right. However, if one has to break it down to individual battles, then Australian pacer Josh Hazlewood has dominated the struggling Proteas batsman.
In the pink ball Test in Adelaide, Amla fell to Hazlewood for the fifth time in five innings in this series. In the first Test at Perth, Amla fell twice to Hazlewood, for 0 and 1. In Hobart, after scoring a brisk 47, he edged a short ball to ‘keeper Peter Nevill. (SCORECARD)
In Adelaide, he edged an away-swinger to first slip, and in the second innings, he batted with aggression and was looking good for his 32nd fifty. However, Hazlewood got a delivery to hold its line and Amla edged to ‘keeper Matthew Wade. It ended a miserable series for Amla, who scored 98 runs in five innings at an average of 17.6.
Hazlewood’s domination of Amla summed up Australia’s domination in the Day-Night Test as Usman Khawaja and Mitchell Starc extended Australia’s lead on the third day. After Khawaja fell for 145, Starc stepped in and batted aggressively as he smashed his seventh fifty to help Australia to 383, an overall lead of 124.
In response, South Africa lost Dean Elgar cheaply but Stephen Cook and Amla shared an 81-run stand. However, Australia struck back later in the night as Nathan Lyon snapped up JP Duminy (26) while Mitchell Starc accounted for Faf du Plessis (12).
Towards close of play on Day 3, Temba Bavuma and Cook steadied the ship with a 46-run stand, but Lyon struck twice before South Africa ended on 194/6, a lead of 70 runs.
By getting rid of Amla for the fifth time in the series, Hazlewood joined a special club of bowlers who have made one particular batsman their bunny.
The last recorded instance was by Ravindra Jadeja, who dismissed Michael Clarke in five out of six innings during the 2013 home series in which India whitewashed Australia 4-0. Chris Martin of New Zealand dismissed Australia’s Phillip Hughes in four out of four innings in 2011. This sequence is unique as Hughes edged the catch to Martin Guptill all four times.
There have been several bowlers who have given batsmen nightmares. Harbhajan Singh had Ricky Ponting’s number in 2001 as he dismissed him in each of the five times the Aussie batted. Ponting’s scores in that three Test series were 0,6,0,0, 11. Ajit Agarkar got the better of Justin Langer five times in the four-Test series against Australia in 2003-4, which ended in a 1-1 draw.