Hash, Faf: Time to move on

2015-06-03 06:36
Hashim Amla (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg  – A lid needs to be placed now on the disappointment and controversy associated with the Proteas’ narrow semi-final exit at the hands of New Zealand in the World Cup earlier this year.

That was the theme to emerge from brief media sessions held by national Test captain Hashim Amla and one of his co-senior batsmen and the Twenty20 leader, Faf du Plessis, at the Melrose Arch launch here of the team’s five-year kit deal with New Balance on Tuesday night.

Amla has just returned from a short stint in English county cricket with Derbyshire, which he rounded off with a knock of 51 in the T20 competition and respective innings of 69 and 11 against Lancashire in his last four-day Championship match.

Du Plessis, nursing a broken finger on his right hand which ought to heal in time for the all-formats Bangladesh tour next month, played in the Indian Premier League.

Amla said he felt ready to take charge of a pleasingly Test-heavy few months for the No 1-ranked Proteas which features major, four-game series against each of India (away) and England (home) after the Bangladeshi trip.

“I chipped in now and then (for Derbyshire) ... I love playing in England even if it was a bit cold; it was about keeping the skills in touch and getting some game practice, in a sense.

“From a Test perspective, I don’t think (the events at the World Cup) will have an impact. The senior guys are a mature lot, in many cases having been together for 10 years, and the game goes on.

“There was a lot of media attention but whatever has happened has happened; it’s done and dusted.

“I’m just looking forward to the busy Test period ahead: there are 10 Test matches to come, and great opposition.

“I’ve had my first taste of the captaincy in six Test matches so far (involving victorious series against Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe and West Indies – Sport24), though it somehow feels longer than six!”

Amla warned that the gradually improving Bangladesh could not be taken lightly on their own turf.

“No, the first series is a bit of a tricky one; they’ve been playing some good cricket and we mustn’t be guilty of looking too far ahead.”

Du Plessis, meanwhile, confessed that he was “still hurting a little bit” in the first three weeks of the IPL, which came hot on the heels of the World Cup disappointment.

“It was tough initially to act like you were really into the IPL because your mind was still on New Zealand and what happened there.

“I’ve probably not yet experienced a harder couple of days than those immediately after (SA’s World Cup ended) ... we worked so hard and came so close. You saw real emotions on that day (of the semis loss), but it’s time for a new chapter.

“Time is the best thing to heal everything and gradually it became normal cricket for me again.

“Now I just want to get away from the game a bit for a few weeks; spend some time at home before we go to Bangladesh.”

*Follow our chief writer on Twitter: @RobHouwing

Read more on:    proteas  |  faf du plessis  |  hashim amla  |  cricket

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