Temba is in­spi­ra­tional, says Amla

CityPress - - Sport - LLOYD BURNARD sports@city­press.co.za

Hashim Amla (32) has played 90 test matches for his coun­try, scor­ing 24 cen­turies since his de­but in 2004. Temba Bavuma scored his first test 100 this week. On the sur­face, there ap­pears to be lit­tle con­nect­ing the two play­ers – one hav­ing carved a name for him­self as a great of the game, while the other is in the in­fancy of his in­ter­na­tional ca­reer.

But Amla, speak­ing soon af­ter he shocked the coun­try by an­nounc­ing his res­ig­na­tion as test cap­tain, said he saw sim­i­lar­i­ties be­tween him­self and the 25-year-old Bavuma.

“We both have prob­a­bly had very sim­i­lar ca­reers … the first time we both played in­ter­na­tional cricket, ev­ery­body doubts you ei­ther be­cause of the colour of your skin or for var­i­ous rea­sons, even though you’ve got the stats to back it up do­mes­ti­cally,” said Amla, who was heav­ily crit­i­cised for his

tech­nique and un­ortho­dox back­lift when he first ap­peared on the in­ter­na­tional stage.

Bavuma’s test av­er­age now looks a far health­ier 35.28 af­ter his gor­geous 102* on Tues­day, and Amla says that watch­ing that in­nings from the side­lines was some­thing spe­cial.

“The way Temba bat­ted in this match was very in­spi­ra­tional to even guys like me. The in­tent he showed … I wish when I was his age I showed that type of con­fi­dence and in­tent,” said Amla.

“Every­body in the team knew how tal­ented he is and the po­ten­tial he has, be­cause he has done it be­fore.

“So I was ex­tremely happy and very proud … goose­bumps mo­ments for ev­ery­body in the team be­cause we knew the pres­sure he was un­der.

“Per­son­ally, I know the pres­sure that play­ers of colour go through when they first come into the setup. So it was emo­tional for a lot of us.”

Amla added that he saw no rea­son why Bavuma could not make his way into the na­tional squads for the shorter for­mats based on what he de­liv­ered on Tues­day.

– Sport24

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