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India vs South Africa: Challenging to bat on this Wanderers pitch, says Hashim Amla

Hashim Amla, who was the top scorer for South Africa cricket team in the first innings of the third Test vs Indian cricket team at the Wanderers in Johannesburg, said it was one of the toughest innings he has played so far in his career.

cricket Updated: Jan 26, 2018 09:54 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Johannesburg
South Africa vs India,SA vs IND,India vs South Africa
South Africa cricket team's Hashim Amla negotiates a tricky delivery during his innings of 61 in the first innings of the third Test vs Indian cricket team at the Wanderers in Johannesburg on Thursday. (REUTERS)

In the space of three years at home and away, India and South Africa have probably played in two very difficult pitches -- in Nagpur and now in Johannesburg. But Hashim Amla would still pick out the positive of winning at a subcontinent type pitch in Centurion. (India vs South Day 2 highlights | Scorecard)

Asked to compare between Nagpur and Johannesburg, Amla said, “Both were very difficult to bat. I think the difference here is, if you look at the Centurion, the wicket didn’t suit us. But to win that game, in those type, if I may use the word “subcontinental conditions”, South Africa have been playing good cricket. I am happy that we won the match that offered something for the bowlers and we won match on a wicket that offered something to the batters.”

But Amla had no doubt in saying that this was probably one of his toughest innings he has played.

“I can think back recently in England we played and there were a couple of tough wickets there as well. But this one has a lot of pace, bounce, probably one of the quickest wickets that I have played on. There have been a couple in one or two years, quite fickle. In England one or two. Yeah, it’s quite challenging to bat,” he said.

“It’s quite a spicy wicket. No one can hide from the fact you can get out any ball, in the same token, it’s challenging as a batsmen. Sometimes we get on to wickets where you can score when it’s pretty flat. Yeah, it’s quite difficult to bat, although whether it is too excessive or not, if you ask the batsmen what do you think they will say?,” he said.

With so much movement off the pitch and in the air, Amla stood away from his crease and tried to shuffle across his stumps to meet the bowling line. “I just figured that the ball is doing so much, get into the channel. If it’s outside, try and leave it. I know you can take a few in body and hands but it’s part of the game, yeah it was as simple as it is,” said Hamla who was also hit in his ribs by Ishant Sharma once.

Amla had a funny take on his injury though. “Yeah it’s feeling good. Ball started reversing a lot after that and people were checking the ball if it’s still ok. Yeah, I am fine,” he smiled.

First Published: Jan 25, 2018 23:07 IST