• The mighty Hash

    Hashim Amla, who turns 33 on Thursday, became the first cricketer of Indian descent to play for South Africa.

    Amla was not an instant success after making his Test debut against India in 2004, but when he was handed a second chance he made it count, with 149 in a draw against New Zealand in Cape Town.

    He was at his best on tours to India in 2008 and 2010 where he scored 307 at 61.4 on the first trip and an aggregate of 490 with one dismissal in three innings on the next. He made his first double-century on the 2010 tour – in an innings victory in Nagpur – and in 2012, he became the first South African to score a triple-century, against England, in another innings win, at The Oval.

    He had become prolific in ODIs by then as well, scoring five hundreds and four fifties in 15 innings in 2010-11, and breaking Viv Richards’ record for fastest to 6000 ODI runs. He was also the fastest to 20 ODI hundreds, getting there in 108 innings, beating the previous record by Virat Kohli (133).

    Amla took over the Test captaincy in 2014 following Graeme Smith’s retirement. He led South Africa to a Test series win in Sri Lanka and against West Indies at home, but after a 3-0 defeat in India, Amla, who had suffered a dip in batting form in 2015, averaging 22.8 from 12 innings, chose to step down in January 2016, having just scored a double-hundred against England at Newlands.

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