• Amla could drop to No 4

    New Proteas Test skipper Hashim Amla has said he might move down the order to lighten his workload.

    The wristy right-hander has made the No 3 position his own during his career, averaging 56.40 when he comes in a first drop, the position he has batted in all but six of his 76 Test matches. However, due to the demands of captaincy, he has said he will consider shifting to No 4 in the future.

    Speaking to Sport24’s Rob Houwing in an interview published on the weekend, Amla mentioned the need to give himself more time to get ready to put his innings together, and alluded to the gap left by Jacques Kallis’ retirement. ‘Losing Jacques … listen, we’re losing two players in one’, he said.

    ‘As for the batting line-up, it’s something we will discuss; there was a consideration of me moving down the order to four. Kind of giving me a bit more time … you know, if I’m captaining and batting.’

    Amla listed the captaincy as the main reason for the thought, mentioning that if he hadn’t been made the skipper, who would have ‘stayed at three for my whole life. But with leadership there is an argument for four. It also extends the batting line-up.’

    He also mentioned the need to find a replacement for him in the No 3 position if he ever loses form or is hurt. ‘Look, another argument is maybe we also need at some stage to groom another No 3 anyway, if I were to retire, get injured, get dropped … whatever the case.’

    However, Amla cautioned that the idea won’t be put into action right now, and he will need to come up with a plan in consultation with coach Russell Domingo first.

    ‘It’s not something that may happen immediately, but we may become more open to it. We will sit down with Russ [Domingo] and the selectors; try to get the best combination now that Jacques has gone and the balance has changed.

    ‘In places like Sri Lanka you need to be a lot more resourceful in your ideas … if it means tinkering a little bit, then so be it. It’s a phase where we will have to try a few things to fill the gaps. If we try to just go the same way, I believe we’ll be missing the boat.’

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