Cape Town - Proteas
vice-captain Hashim Amla expects another closely contested battle in the
series-deciding fifth One-Day International (ODI) against India in Mumbai on
The series momentum has ebbed
and flowed between the two teams and is all set up for a thrilling climax at
the iconic Wankhede Stadium.
“It’s been a very exciting
and close one-day series,” Amla said after the squad’s training session in
Mumbai on Saturday.
“If you look at the tour, we
have managed to win four games out of six so it’s been a good run from our
side. Both teams have been competitive in the ODIs, we both have positives and
things to work on, it’s going to be an exciting game.”
Amla, currently the No 2-ranked
ODI batsman, has had uncharacteristically low scores of 37, 17, 5 and 7 in the
series, but remains positive of a good knock being ‘around the corner’.
The 31-year-old is 15 runs
away from 6000 ODI runs, and is set to break Virat Kohli’s record as the
fastest batsman to the landmark. Kohli achieved the record after 136 innings,
while Amla has only batted in 122 innings before Sunday’s match.
“Every batter feels like a
big one is around the corner, even if you score a 100,” he joked. “I have been
batting quite well, I think in most of the innings I’ve managed to get
something going but managed to get myself out. Cricket is like that, for every
batter the next innings is the most important one.”
Amla believes there is enough
depth in the squad to fill the voids left by the injured pair of JP Duminy and
Morne Morkel, despite the challenge of finding a suitable balance for the conditions
at the Wankhede Stadium.
“I don’t think Morne will be
fit enough to play even though he bowled a bit in the nets, they will probably
make the final call in the morning,” he explained.
“Losing JP (Duminy) was a big
loss, he has been an unbelievably consistent performer for us over the last
couple of years and adds great balance to our team with his off-spin as well.
That is why you have a squad, no big series is ever won by 11 players. You
usually have 15 players who can contribute at different times, this is one of
those times for us.”