South Africa’s Hashim Amla has been one of the great stalwarts of modern day cricket. Purely by numbers alone, he has left a significant imprint in the game. The classy opening batsman has 9282 runs in Test cricket, and 7910 runs in ODIs.
Although Amla is considered more as a batsman suited to the longer format, people often forget that he has 27 ODI hundreds to his name and an average of 49.74. These are remarkable numbers, and it is hence surprising that Amla’s name isn’t taken in the same breath as Virat Kohli, Steve Smith or Kane Williamson when talking about great ODI batsmen.
Perhaps it is because of Amla’s calm and sedate demeanor – there is nothing too extravagant about him. But there is no denying that Hashim Amla is a class apart and he will be one of the batsmen to watch out for in the ICC World Cup 2019 in England.
Watch out for Hashim Amla in World Cup 2019
In the recent past, though, Amla’s form has been causing a little bit of a worry in the South African camp. He has not been able to make much of an impact in Test cricket recently – he has not scored a single century in 14 Tests since 2018. Amla has also had a very ordinary time in ODIs recently, scoring only 529 runs from 16 innings at 35.26 since 2018.
However, Amla, who will be appearing in his third World Cup, is pretty confident of turning things around in the tournament for his team. “I am hungrier than ever before; there is no doubt about that. I have been blessed to have this shirt for a while, but the time off has made me want to come back stronger. This is my third [ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup], so I know what it is all about,” Amla was quoted as saying in an interview recently.
Amla has tons of experience and will be a reliable batsman at the top for South Africa. He has class and elegance and knows how to play the long innings. What’s more, is that the pitches in England this time at the World Cup should make things easier for him. The wickets have been flat all over England for a while now, and a batsman like Amla should revel in them.
“I have a strong record in England, and I have always enjoyed coming here. We have played England recently and had some success against them, I have done well against them too,” Amla added.
Yes, the numbers do suggest that Amla has been pretty terrific in England – 851 runs in 18 ODIs at an average of 56.73 with two hundred and four fifties. Whether Amla is now able to replicate his past form in England in the upcoming World Cup remains to be seen.
An in-form Hashim Amla at the World Cup won’t just be right for South Africa but world cricket as well. In an age where savage sixes and crunching shots down the ground excite the crowds, the elegant cover drives of Hashim Amla scorching the blades of grass in England will be a refreshing sight.