Australia in SA

Biff a huge asset - Amla

2011-10-12 18:02
Graeme Smith (File)
Cape Town - Stand-in Proteas T20 captain, Hashim Amla, has praised Graeme Smith’s attitude ahead of the first T20 International match against Australia at Newlands on Thursday.

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Amla lauded the former South African T20 and One-Day International (ODI) captain for his attitude within the team as a regular player and how he has adjusted to the change of guard.

“I think he is a fantastic dynamic to have,” said Amla. “Graeme (Smith) is such an experienced guy on the field and the way he has conducted himself now that he is not captain has been a huge benefit to everybody around. He has offered a lot of advice to me, a lot of support and I think having him is a huge asset to any captain who will be in charge.”

The captaincy role is relatively unfamiliar to Amla, but he believes that this time around, he is better equipped to juggle the extra responsibility of scoring runs and leading a team.

“The last time I captained was about six years ago, or probably even more than that, but it’s something I’m looking forward to definitely,” he said. “We haven’t played a lot of International T20’s but I feel that the team is in a good space and we may just need a couple of overs to get used to the pace of the game.

“I think I have managed a lot better now than when I captained many years ago,” he said about the extra workload. “You can’t take everything on your shoulders, that’s what I have learnt. Gary is extremely well organised and the plans he has and the structures he has put in takes a lot of pressure off the captain. I have been fortunate to have a few days to work on my batting and a few other things around the captaincy.”  

For now, his first decision as captain on the field will be at the coin toss tomorrow evening, and history suggests that batting first is the ideal option to chose if given the choice.

“We have considered it (toss), if you look at the domestic records here in the T20’s, there hasn’t been a massive difference in results,” said Amla.

“Batting second here is not as influential as it was a while ago, so we will take into consideration the state of the wicket and that batting here is not always that easy.”

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