Captain Faf du Plessis has confirmed that batsman Hashim Amla will return to third position in the order for South Africa’s Test series opener against Pakistan, which gets under way in Centurion on Wednesday.
Amla batted in fourth position during Sri Lanka earlier this year, when he managed just 40 runs in four innings across the two-nil series defeat.
‘Hash is our number three – he’s been there forever and is our rock at number three. There was a reason behind moving him to four in Sri Lanka,’ said du Plessis.
‘It was to have our more experienced players playing against spin there. Theunis (de Bruyn) came in at three because he was a new player and it gave him the best opportunity at facing a harder ball, which is easier in the sub-continent. But we’ll be back to our normal batting lineup, which means Hashim at three.’
De Bruyn has been cleared to play after recovering from the back injury that ruled him out of the bulk of the Mzansi Super League. Fellow batsman Temba Bavuma’s participation remains in the balance – he is nursing a hamstring injury. Openers Dean Elgar and Aiden Markram have been retained.
‘The opening pair has proved a massive weapon for us in Test cricket. In the last season and a half, they’ve got us to really good starts. Pakistan have got a tremendous bowling attack which is in really good form. So our success will definitely get measured on the form of our batters. Hopefully we have two or three batters who can have a good series,’ concluded Du Plessis.