Amla seeks perfect send-off

2011-10-27 18:09

Cape Town - Hashim Amla will lead the Proteas for the final time in the series-decider against Australia at Kingsmead on Friday.

It has been a short stint for Amla, who stepped in for injured captain AB de Villiers, but it has been an opportunity that he has enjoyed, albeit quite a challenging one.

“It takes some time getting used to (the captaincy), I have thoroughly enjoyed the different aspects,” commented Amla. “I have learnt a lot as the captain in the last four games and also a lot about myself. It has been very enjoyable, something I always try to keep an open mind about and learning as we go along.

A series victory would not be a bad record for Amla, after sharing the spoils with Australia in the two-match T20 series. He has the opportunity to achieve this at his home ground supported by a capacity crowd, but he still maintains that victory is sweet wherever it happens. 

“It would mean a lot of course, everybody wants to make a point of impact, so to be a winning captain would be fantastic and is something that I would enjoy and hope happens, but we have to wait and see what happens tomorrow.”

South Africa overcame a similar pressure situation earlier this year when they beat India 3-2 to win the ODI series. South Africa’s back-to-back victories after trailing 2-1 secured them the series, and they will be hoping to emulate the feat against Australia in the crunch game.

“I won’t quite say it’s a World Cup final in that regard. I think the team has a bigger goal at hand so to say, of course we want to win and we will be going out to win the game tomorrow. However, I do feel that there are other aspects of the game that we are going to be putting a lot more emphasis on and usually a by bi-product of those things is winning,

“I don’t think we are  putting a lot of pressure on ourselves, the last game was basically a final for us, had we lost that we would have lost the series so the way the guys came out to play the last game was an inspiration and I think we will try and bring that into the next game.” 

Earlier, Mark Boucher suffered a blow to his hand while batting but should be fine to take the field tomorrow afternoon.

“Boucher sustained a blow to his right index finger while he was batting,” commented Team Manager, Mohammed Moosajee. “He is in a bit of discomfort but there is nothing untoward and we are managing it with rest, ice and compression and he should be fine for tomorrow.”