Hashim Amla says the Proteas top order takes full responsibility for their series defeat to India.
With the uncertainty around the Proteas’ strongest XI for the ODI series against India, it’s not been difficult to assess what went wrong.
The series was meant to give coach Ottis Gibson a clearer picture of the future, but injuries to key players undermined those plans. As a result, the Proteas were never able to field the same side and had to make changes in every match.
The first and fourth ODI saw them field four seamers, including two all-rounders. They tried one all-rounder and two spinners in the second match, and there was one spinner and an all-rounder in the third and the fifth.
This, however, was not the major problem the Proteas faced, as highlighted by senior batsman Hashim Amla on Thursday.
‘We managed to win a lot of games [in the past], no matter what combination we used. We went with six batters, two all-rounders and [in this series] I don’t think the combination is at fault,’ Amla said at a press conference ahead of the final ODI at Centurion on Friday.
‘Those of us batting in the top six haven’t managed to score those match-changing big hundreds.
‘The top six guys haven’t clicked and haven’t got the momentum that we wanted in our batting to make it easier [on the side].
‘A total of 270-280 isn’t beyond any batting reach. I think the combinations we have are fine, it’s just that those of us on top haven’t performed,’ he said.
With scores of 16, 23, 1 and 33 in the first four ODIs, Amla turned it around with a well played 71 in Port Elizabeth, passing the 7,500-run mark in his ODI career.
Amla will be key to the Proteas finding a consolation win at Centurion, a ground where the Proteas opener has scored 869 runs at an average of 72.41 in 13 games.
Despite having lost the series with a game to spare, Amla remained positive in his thinking, saying it was easy to remain motivated.
‘At every stage in the series, we looked at the positives of what’s to come. We are 4-1 down and the positives are that we want to end the series on a good note,’ Amla added.
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