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Faf lauds Amla's character ahead of 100th Test

Hashim Amla has received rich praise from Proteas captain Faf du Plessis on the eve of his 100th Test appearance for his country in the third Test against Sri Lanka at the Wanderers.

Hashim Amla

The old cliché ‘form is temporary, class is permanent' is often bandied about in the sporting world.

 

It certainly applies to Proteas batsman Hashim Amla, who will become only the eighth South African to appear in 100 Test matches in the third and final Test against Sri Lanka at the Wanderers.

 

Proteas captain Faf du Plessis certainly believes Amla has the character and unquestionable ability to shake off his current batting slump.

 

Amla has failed to chalk up a half century in five Test matches (195 runs - average 21.66) and his career average has dipped below 50 for the first time in four years (Source-espn cricinfo.com).

 

Tributes to the bearded warrior, nicknamed 'The Mighty #' have nevertheless been pouring in from all quarters, including past Test captains, players, adversaries and teammates.

 

"This is a massive milestone," commented Du Plessis.

 

"It's an amazing effort, but true to Hash's character, it's just another game for him and he doesn't want any shine or attention coming his way. He just simply wants to rock up and play another game of cricket."

 

"He has been the rock of our batting and is the most consistent player, with Jacques Kallis, that we have ever had," maintains the captain.

 

Du Plessis says he can only recall two lean patches throughout Amla’s career. "Of course he's not scoring as many runs as we are used to, but whether Hash is scoring runs or not, he is exactly the same person

and that brings a calmness to the dressing room. Even when he's not scoring runs, he offers a great deal as a player.”

 

Du Plessis, relatively new to Test captaincy and himself no stranger to lean periods in his own career, says he has also personally learnt a lot from Amla as a player.

 

"If there's one thing I have really learned, it's the need to look at success and failure in exactly the same way."



Focusing on the on-field matters, Du Plessis confirmed that Wayne Parnell had 'ticked all the boxes' and would replace Kyle Abbott in the bowling attack for the Wanderers Test. Parnell, who also has a decent batting string to his bow,  last played Test cricket three years ago.


 


Abbott's contract with Cricket South Africa (CSA) was cancelled last week when he dropped a bombshell and opted to accept a Kolpak contract with the English county side Hampshire.


 


Knights paceman Duanne Olivier was called up to join the squad, but Du Plessis refused to be drawn on the question of playing an all-pace attack on the traditionally lively Wanderers deck.


 


With a 2-nil cushion and the Test series already wrapped up, Du Plessis says there will be no hint of complacency possibly creeping in.


 


"Yes, it's something that humanly can creep in very quickly, but we don't get opportunities like this very often to win 3-nil and we will avoid it at all costs."


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