Hashim Amla played spin the Indian way

Written by: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee
Published: Monday, February 8, 2010, 17:15 [IST]
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Hashim Amla played spin the Indian way

South African batsman Hashim Amla has his roots in India and if his first innings performance in the Nagpur test is anything to go by Amla seems to have Indian genes of playing the spin bowling. He is one of the few good players of spin bowling in the South African but his double hundred in the first innings might make cricket pundits rate him as one of the best players of spin bowling. What's more special about the innings was that he never seemed to play a false stroke.

Representing a side which has anything but good record against spin bowling, Amla not only played Harbhajan Singh and Amit Mishra with full control but made them sweat and bite dust at the Vidharba Cricket Association Ground. The manner in which he dominated Harbhajan who is one of the best off spinners in world cricket right now needs to be lauded. This on a pitch which was offering both turn and bounce to both the Indian spinners.

Hashim Amla's style of taking spin resembled more of Indian batting that South African as he used his wrists to perfection and never tried pushing hard at the ball which most of the tourists do in the sub-continent. The 26-year old Amla almost meditated at the wicket in a marathon innings pf more than 11 hours facing 473 balls and sending the ball 22 times over behind the fence. The icing on the cake, Indian bowlers could not get him out as Grahme Smith declared with Amla unbeaten on 253.

Along with the seasoned Jacques Kallis, Amla added 340 runs for the third wicket which is the record third wicket stand by any visiting side against India. If on Day 1 he played under the shadow of Kallis on Day 2 he took the lead once Kallis departed. During his double century Amla was completely at home, tackling the spinners, the turning track and the conditions with a command normally associated with sub-continent batsmen.

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