Durban, Dec 9: Prolific South African batsman Hashim Amla said he was "a bit embarrassed" to have overtaken West Indian legend Sir Viv Richards' record of being the quickest batsman to reach the 4000-run mark in ODIs.
During his knock of 100 runs in the second one-dayer against India, Amla became the quickest batsman to score 4000 ODI runs. He achieved this feat at the personal score of 59 runs, in 81 matches, ahead of the 88-marker set by Richards.
"I am grateful for the record. But I feel a bit embarrassed to have it because Sir Viv Richards is certainly the master blaster, the original great batsman," said Amla, rather sheepishly.
"He is more deserving than anyone else. Fortunately I have met him on a few occasions, so it makes it even more embarrassing. It would be befitting if he was ahead."
"There is a lot of one-day cricket these days and no doubt someone else will come along and beat that and the game will just carry on," he added.
Amla scored his first hundred at his hometown. His innings helped South Africa reach 281 in their allotted 49 overs (after a wet outfield delayed the match) and then their bowlers did the rest, knocking India over for 134 runs.
"I am very happy to get this hundred," he said. "Certainly it has been one of my leaner scoring grounds so I am glad to get some runs here."
That someone, Amla was talking about, could definitely be his opening partner Quinton de Kock. The 20-year old left-handed batsman notched up his second consecutive hundred and his third ODI hundred overall, scoring 106 runs off 118 balls, with nine fours.
Together the duo put on 194 runs for the first wicket, following up on their 152-run partnership in the first ODI at Johannesburg.
"My partnership with Quinny, we have kind of clicked a bit. We have got something going. He has come a long way from the time we were in Sri Lanka, and there were a few doubts about his ability opening the batting against spin. But against Pakistan and against India here he has shown he has got all attributes to be a great player. He scores quickly, and he has got great thinking when he is batting."
"He has played less than 20 one-day games. To adjust like that, hopefully he has got a very bright future," said Amla, showering effusive praise on his young partner.
Their opening partnership has been the big difference between the two line-ups, apart from the obvious disparity in the bowling attacks. However Amla was not too harsh on the Indian team, both the batsmen and bowlers who have been well short of their mark in the two matches played so far.
"To score runs, you need things to go your way. In both games, we could have been out at different points. But things have just gone our way in the last two games. India have bowled well upfront.
"We haven't gone off to blistering starts. Just knocked it around a bit and bided our time. In the first game, the middle order did a bulk of the damage," he said.
"They are the number one team in the world. They are not there for no reason. They have got great talent. They have scored big runs. We have had two really good games against them. I wouldnt be so judgemental on their batting. I do think we have the best bowling attack in the world, so we have to give our bowlers some due as well," Amla concluded.