Kevin Pietersen led a chorus of praise for Hashim Amla ahead of his 100th Test, describing him as the team’s calming influence.
The ex-England batsman gave some insight on his interaction with Amla and emphasises what makes him one of the best.
‘I remember him in a match in Hobart, when the Australian were well on top at tea. He came in and in his 60 or 70 balls, scored a forty and calmed the dressing room down. He comes in at No 3, does his job, occupies the crease and lets the rest of the order to play,’ said Pietersen, one of several top players interviewed by Cricket South Africa to mark the occasion.
‘What makes him so great is he is so resilient. He didn’t have the easiest start to his international career, but he has found his own style and his own technique; he can stick to it, he can believe in it and trusts it. He has scored so many runs for South Africa.
Former Australia captain Michael Clarke, said he found Amla a difficult batsman to counter.
‘I hated captaining against him, because he was so hard to set fields to,’ he said. ‘He had a great defence and based his game around that but he found a way to be successful across all three formats.
‘Like anyone who has played a hundred Tests, it has been a roller-coaster ride. The game of cricket is hard and there going to be ups and down and tough times. But it shows your character the way you get through that and turn things around. It’s not always about statistics, sometimes its about the way you played and the way you helped your team be successful, but his statistics show what a great player he is.
‘All Australians send their congratulations on reaching a hundred Tests’
Commentator and former West Indies great Michael Holding said: You have to be a great player to play a hundred Test matches because you are under scrutiny every time you go out there. For him to have performed for such a long period of time, it shows how hard he has worked in the game.
‘What is important for a test cricketer is your commitment, your willingness to do hard work and your skill, and Hashim has all of those … you can see it in the way he approaches the game. He can take the attack to bowlers and target an area; he can adapt. That what makes him such a great cricketer.’
JP Duminy, Michael Clarke, Kevin Pietersen and Michael Holding speak about Amla ahead of his 100th Test:
Pietersen on Amla: watch here
Duminy on Amla: watch here
Clarke: watch here
Holding: watch here
Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix