Proteas coach Russell Domingo has credited the way Hashim Amla kept calm in the pressure situations during the Test series against Sri Lanka for the side’s win.
Domingo, speaking to the press in Johannesburg on Tuesday, spoke of the impact Amla’s famous relaxed demeanour had on the side. ‘The way Hashim led his troops in his first Test series was a testament to the type of leader he’s going to be.’
‘He was able to get the best out of his players in tough conditions. They withstood serious pressure on the last day of the series to draw that Test and come through with the series win. His calmness around the team is of massive value in those situations.’
The 39-year-old also described his relationship with Amla as one based on mutual respect. ‘Hashim and I have known each other for a long time and I think my relationship with him is healthy. We don’t always agree on everything’, said the coach.
‘Our opinions differ on a lot of things, in cricket and in life, and I think the most important thing is that there’s respect between the two of us. It allows us to bounce ideas off each other.’
Amla, in turn, praised the mental resolve his side showed in securing the final-day draw that allowed them to claim the 1-0 series victory. ‘It was a hard-fought series, but I was extremely pleased with the way we responded to the different circumstances we were faced with’, he said.
‘We weren’t favourites going into the series, but that changed after the first Test win. Everybody was clicking at the right time.’
The new captain also spoke of his desire to contribute in an individual capacity, as a way of proving that the added burden of leading the side won’t affect his game. ‘Firstly, you want to contribute as a batsman. The question will always be there for a new captain, whether he can still contribute with the bat and I still think it’s too early to tell. But it was good to get a century to settle myself as the captain in the team.’
Amla’s next challenge as Test captain is just 10 days away, when the Proteas take on Zimbabwe in a one-off Test in Harare. They then have a four-month break from Test cricket before West Indies tour South Africa for a three-Test series in December and January.
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