Perth, Dec 2: Bowlers around the world can heave a sigh of relief. At least for rest of 2012. They won't have to bowl to run-machine Hashim Amla in a Test match this year. But, beware, he will be back in the longest format in same imperious form early 2013.
This calendar year has been very productive for the South African number three batsman, Amla. He has proved his class with over 1,000 runs in 2012. He is only the third batsman in 2012 to score 1,000 or more runs.
Before the start of the Australia second innings in Perth (December 2), Australia captain Michael Clarke is the leading run scorer in 2012 with 1,314 runs (nine Tests including Perth first innings). Amla is second (1,064) followed by England captain Alastair Cook (1,044 from 13 Tests).
The sight of him walking to the pitch, has been a nightmarish one for the opposition bowlers. The dominance he has been in this year, has just been amazing.
On Sunday, he ended the year on yet another high, with 196, just four short of his third double century in 65 Tests. South Africa are not scheduled to play any Tests after Perth this year.
In 2012, he played 10 Tests and amassed 1,064 runs at an average of 70.93. The year also saw him registering a triple hundred, 311 not out against England at The Oval in July.
In all, he hit four centuries this year. Two apiece against England and Australia. In his 65-Test career so far, he has 5,323 runs with 18 centuries.
The way he went at the batting crease this year, Amla's career will be followed by all in years to come. The 29-year-old bats at the number three position and his form has been one of the key ingredients of South Africa climbing to number one spot and staying there.
In the current three-match series against Australia, he started with a 104 in Brisbane and after a quiet second Test in Adelaide, he returned with a bang here in Perth with a big knock.
Amla's hunger for runs is huge. He is a batsman not satisfied with small hundreds. Once he gets going, he can stack up big centuries. He has five 150 and above scores.
The batsman, who was one of the nominees for ICC Test Cricketer of the Year 2012, narrowly missed out on the honour to Sri Lanka's Kumar Sangakkara. He was also in the short-list for ICC Cricketer of the Year 2012 but again the Sri Lankan edged him out.
Amla, however, made it to the ICC Test team of the year, chosen by ICC. This was for the third year in a row that Amla featured in the elite team. That shows his consistent run in the longest format.
In the latest ICC rankings for Test batsmen (updated till November 26), Amla features at fifth position.
Amla's form has been awesome in 2012. Watch out for him again next year!