Amla says sorry to Smith

2011-10-20 15:49

Johannesburg - As South Africa suffered a humiliating, 93-run defeat to arch-rivals Australia on Wednesday night, the outcome could not have been more different for the two former cricket captains facing each other in the first of three one-day internationals.

Former Proteas captain Graeme Smith was booed by the crowd for another dismal innings as he was adjudged lbw, while his Australian counterpart, Ricky Ponting, was named Man-of-the-Match.

To be fair, Smith did walk across to his captain and batting partner, Hashim Amla, and ask if they should refer the wicket to the Decision Review System (DRS), but Amla said he thought it looked out and decided not to take it further.

On reflection, after seeing the television replays, Smith may have had the decision reversed.

"He asked me what I thought at the time, and I thought it was hitting leg stump," said Amla afterwards.

"I apologised to Graeme as I should have referred it but you have to go on your initial impression and I initially thought it was hitting leg stump."

"I should have known better," said Amla who is captain while AB de Villiers is recovering from surgery to his left hand.

Ponting was more fortunate. By his own admission, it was not his finest innings and he was lucky to survive a couple of chances.

He got an inside edge which went just wide of wicketkeeper Mark Boucher, when his score was on nine, and he also survived an lbw and a caught-behind appeal.

"It wasn't one of my best today and it takes a bit of time to get used to the tempo," said Ponting.

Clarke had tipped Ponting to make a big impression with the bat in both the ODI and Test series on this tour.

"I wasn't aware of that (Clark's opinion) but he's a good judge, isn't he?" he laughed.

Ponting said he had been training hard and had managed to get good time in the middle for his team in Perth.

"It's always nice to get off to a good start and in a small series like this one, a 1-0 advantage always helps.

"The weather and the shortened game also helped us."

Ponting praised South Africa's Lonwabo Tsotsobe and said he was impressed with his use of the new ball.

"Both he and Morne [Morkel] bowled really well and, with their height, they managed to bounce it a bit more."

As a senior member of the team, Ponting said he was relishing the role of mentoring the younger players and was pleased to be able to enjoy his time off the field now that the main responsibilities of the team and the players rest on Michael Clarke's shoulders.

"I'm much more relaxed these days," Ponting said.

"There's a lot going on behind the scenes which you don't necessarily see but I don't have to worry about that anymore.

"I spend a lot of time with the young guys and try and help them and I'm enjoying that role."

Two Australians made their ODI debuts in the match and Ponting said it was a good feeling to see them doing well.

"I thought Pat Cummins and Mitchell Marsh bowled particularly well today in their debuts.

"It wasn't an ideal start for Paddy, getting hit for six off his first ball but he bounced back.

"They are two exceptional young talents and it was good to see them out there today."

Amla said the track got quicker after the rain and, with the two new balls (in the new rules) in a 29 over match, it meant the ball was new for almost the whole game.

"There was swing upfront which worked in their (Australia's) favour and made it difficult to bat," he said.

"We were two down pretty early which knocked us back and we were unable to recover.

"The last couple of games we haven't managed to string a partnership together and it puts pressure on our lower and middle order.

"Obviously we have to work on it."


  • Riaan - 2011-10-20 16:00

    No more excuses, take responsibility and fix it... Every player has the responsibility to do his best with every ball whether batting or bowling... This is not rugby where other people can pick up the slack, every individual is responsible for their own success or failure!!!

  • Dhirshan - 2011-10-20 16:12

    SMITH IS A LEGEND! even if he stops playing tomorrow

      martin.gee.godfrey - 2011-10-20 18:16

      Smith is a fantatsic test match player and does have the gahoonas for the big occasion but, alas, his days as a one day and T20 player are over. All the statitstics in the world do not help if your CURRENT game is off form. my opinion is that Smith should play and captain the test team and bat at number 4 wher he can come in against a softer ball and builod a big innings. There is no disgrace in him dropping down the order in the test team.

  • Dieter - 2011-10-20 16:24

    WTF Amla! open your eyes, even i could see that it was not out! and i had a few beers!

      heinrich.beukes1 - 2011-10-21 08:08

      Yes well you had the luxury of replays, hotspot and hawk eye!

  • Jules - 2011-10-20 16:54

    smith is a waste of apology required..and what world cup did he win!!!!!!!! he is a choker!!!!

      Anthony - 2011-10-20 18:48

      and lets not forget jules ---when he as captain of the national team had to return to south africa and face the nation/fans for loosing us the world cup he chose to fly off to ireland to put his banger in some mash --unforgivable--drop him gary

      Garth - 2011-10-22 11:43

      Well must say i also watched that world cup and could have sword that there were more than just Smith playing in that team one man cannot loose a world cup you idiot catch a wake up it takes a team to loose a world cup!instead of writing all sorts of rubbish on teh site why dont you rather support the boys than slate them at every oppurtunity given when they winning they great when they loose they dont have tehh support of anyone a bit more support will go la long way!and what qaulifications do you have to make selctions go sit on ur couch coach and keep to urself!

  • eslin.meyer - 2011-10-20 16:55

    Bring back Prince as captain and batsman. What has he done wrong to deserve being ignored? He has a good record against the Aussies.

      Heiku - 2011-10-20 17:52

      He is a must have in the test team (Only team that matters) vs the aussies.

  • deonk - 2011-10-20 17:34

    honest mistake and we would have lost anyway...

      Kosie - 2011-10-21 07:43

      my pojnt exactly, why waste a refferal.if he is going to go out in the next over in any case

  • aiazmir - 2011-10-20 18:21

    Graeme if you have someone watching this post, "Stop closing you stance, and stop fishing outside the off stump." In your earlier games you were known to be strong on the leg side. Go with this. Move across your off-stump and deflect to your leg. You were heavily criticized for being a leg side player, but it takes a kind of genius to relialize that the leg is where the opposing side don't expect you to play, so if you have that ability, go with it. That's where you score. OK so the opposition has figured you out, but you changing to THEIR game plane, sets you up for failure.

  • Stephen - 2011-10-20 18:24

    I think most of the team need to look at their performance. Everyone batted badly not just Graeme. He will improve again and get back to the form he showed before. After captaining such a bunch of misfits I would also have a hangover effect. Now Amla will see how it feels. As for Duminy his time in the sun is over. He has had chance after chanceafter chance and everytime he goes out there he looks nervous and unsure and inevitably loses his wicket. And Kallis seems to fold when the heat is on. The team does not look like they are interested in playing. Poor Kirsten having to coach such a bunch of deadbeats. Pleae someone light a fire undertheir @sses.

  • Johan - 2011-10-20 20:10

    Smith is long past his Sell By Date, he should have gone on pension 6 years ago

  • Pierre - 2011-10-20 21:45

    Smith does not warrant his place as a player or a captain/leader. Unlike John Smit who may not have been the best in his position but atleast was a good leader. What has Buff eever lead his team to except chocking?? He is the biggest chocker of them all!

  • warrenrc - 2011-10-21 13:43

    Amla's career is going to be destroyed much like Smith's and many others before him. A young promising OPENING batsman who now has to take on the extra responsibility of captain instead of concentrating on his batting. Amla does not need the extra pressure and neither does the rest of the team! Botha should be captain - please cricket sa, please dont ruin another YOUNG SA batsman's career!!!!

      Pierre - 2011-10-21 18:13

      Smith's arrogant high opinion of himself has ruined his career not cricket SA, what kind of person does not come and explain himself to the people who pay his salary( us the public) after such an abject failure as the last world cup. If he was in business he would have been sacked. I agree with you on Amla though he has never wanted to lead the team and this will ruin him if it continues

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