Monday, February 8, 2010

Praise all round for Amla's feast

Hashim Amla feasted on the Indian bowling for more than 11 hours in a fantastic display of composure and skill, and one man who wasn't at all surprised was India coach Gary Kirsten.
“I always thought he was a fine player, from a long way back. I always thought he had the ability to score big hundreds, but this was a superb innings especially because of the time he came in. Even in domestic cricket, he made big hundreds and he certainly knows how to bat time,” Kirsten said after Amla's 253 not out had led South Africa to 558 for six declared and all but batted India out of the game.
Kirsten, however, was still optimistic and said India would still be trying to win the game.
"We will obviously need to bat well and there's a lot of work to be done. It's a big day tomorrow, very important. We'll need to apply ourselves and get big scores on the board, but we'll still be trying our hardest to win the game," he said.
With the Indian media biting at his heels, Kirsten said he did not believe the bowling or the make-up of their side was as sick as the critics were making out.
"I thought the guys bowled their hearts out on a pitch that wasn't easy to bowl on. I was pretty happy with the effort over the last two days. In our last few tests we haven't had a fifth bowler either and we've been pretty successful," Kirsten said.
"We did what we could, but sometimes if the batting is really good, you have to acknowledge that. Jacques Kallis and Hashim Amla both batted exceptionally well," the former South African opener said.
Amla hates drawing attention to himself and merely said it was a "momentous occasion", a "fantastic milestone" and he was "grateful to have the opportunity to put the team in a good position".
It was left to Kallis to put Amla's remarkable innings, the highest ever by a South African on the sub-continent, into context.
“Hashim has come a long way and is one of the main guys in our batting line-up now. He’s going to score many more runs for South Africa and he’s proven everyone wrong who said he couldn’t bat at three. “It’s also fantastic to bat with him because he has a very calm influence out in the middle,” Kallis said.

No comments: