Cape Town - Mired
in perhaps the worst form-related crisis of his otherwise glittering batting
career, there seems little reason at first thought to expect Proteas veteran
Hashim Amla to light up the Boxing Day Test against Pakistan at SuperSport
of the last year or more - but especially more recently - have already been
well documented, and the 35-year-old's quest to find his touch in time for the
first of three clashes with the Pakistanis was hardly helped on Wednesday when
he got a rare golden duck for the Cape Cobras on day one of their 4-Day
Franchise Series match against the Warriors in Port Elizabeth.
course of his prior 10 innings - admittedly all in his least suitable format
of T20 for either the Durban Heat (MSL) or Barbados Tridents (Caribbean Premier
League) - Amla sports an unremarkable top score of 35 and five of the
have been almost unheard of in his extended heyday.
So unless he
comes good in the Cobras' second knock at St George's Park, the traditional
kingpin of the Proteas' Test batting will enter Boxing Day, for his first Test
appearance since July, severely short of "middle" time and relying mostly on
his rich experience, instincts and scrapping qualities to prosper once more at
a convenient bend in the road.
But there is
one statistic to reassure both the player himself and his legion of long-time
admirers: a fabulous personal Test record at the spectator-friendly Centurion
Amla has come off in at least one innings in almost all of the dozen Tests he
has played so far at SuperSport Park.
career Test average has dipped to 47.23 after once being well embedded in the
fifties, SuperSport Park has almost unfailingly been a very happy hunting
ground for the player, as he boasts an average of 75.58 (1 285 runs) at the
Much used to
be made of former Test colleague Jacques Kallis' love affair with his home
ground of Newlands when it came to Test matches: he averaged 72.70 there,
against a career record of 55.37.
historically, experiences even greater prosperity at Centurion than Kallis did
in Cape Town, including five centuries there (one of the double variety).
his SuperSport Park record stands high and mighty when weighed against his
figures at the other major Test grounds in South Africa: he averages 51.60 at
the other Highveld hotbed of the Wanderers, 43.53 at Newlands, 40.33 at St
George's Park and 18.89 at Kingsmead.
further comfort for Amla, then, that all three Pakistan Tests happen to be at
his three best SA grounds statistically.
Here is the complete list of his Test
knocks at SuperSport Park, from most recent:
82 & 1 v
58 & 1 v
New Zealand, 2016
109 & 96
v England, 2016
208 v West
17 & 35
v Australia, 2014
18 v Sri
140 v India,
19 & 100
v England, 2009
103 v New
64no v Pakistan, 2007
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