Cape Town - South Africa, up against it in midway through
the first Test against Australia at Kingsmead, will clearly need some of their
more seasoned figures to come to the fore dramatically in the unenviable fourth
innings if they are to somehow get out of jail.
Hashim Amla is one such customer, and a batsman who knows
local conditions better than most for whatever rear-guard action is required by
the embattled Proteas.
But if the decorated stroke-player, who turns 35 later this
month, does manage to come significantly to the fore when the host nation are
finally made aware of their target - or the time they may have to scrap out for
a stalemate - it will go against the personal statistical grain.
Amla, born and educated in Durban and then a Dolphins player
for so long before he switched franchise allegiance to the Cape Cobras in 2013,
stubbornly cannot find his otherwise legendary mojo at Kingsmead in Test
It was his dismissal for a three-ball duck in the first
innings, coming so soon after Aussie off-spinner Nathan Lyon had also snared
Dean Elgar, that sent shockwaves through the fragile SA batting line-up on
Friday, a situation from which they never recovered despite the admirable
resistance of fellow heavyweight AB de Villiers.
That was Amla’s fourth KZN duck in a 194-innings Test career
that has seen him suffer the fate only 11 times, but also meaning that more
than a third of his noughts have now come at Kingsmead alone.
His latest failure there, in his 11th Durban
Test, meant he has registered a total of only 351 runs at an average of below
20 (19.50) ... way down on his career average of 49 heading into the latest
contest against the Baggy Greens.
Amla has played 18 innings in the format at Kingsmead, with
just four half-centuries and a top score of 69 against modest West Indies in
His one-day international career at the ground isn’t greatly
better so far: 10 matches and 395 runs at 39.50, again some way below his
stellar career average of 50.23 - though he does sport one century, against
Here is the complete list of Amla Test knocks at Kingsmead ...
might there be a welcome, much bulkier addition after the current fixture is
1 and 0 v England,
1 and 0 v India,
69 v West Indies,
0 and 43 v Australia,
2 and 6 v England,
33 and 16 v India,
54 and 51 v Sri
Lanka, December 2011
3 v India, December
7 and 12 v England,
53 v New Zealand,
0 v Australia (first
inns), March 2018
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