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Cricket | IPL

Hashim Amla © SuperSport.com

Amla improving with age

“I am not surprised that Hashim Amla has blossomed in the Indian Premier League. It will undoubtedly also benefit him in one-day internationals,” said 107 ODI-veteran, Boeta Dippenaar.

Amla, a senior stalwart of South Africa and the Cape Cobras, has arguably been the greatest revelation in the current edition of the Indian Premier League.

He was not introduced into the South African T20-team until late in his career, and averages 32.42 in the format.

But in the current edition of the IPL, the opener has smashed 420 runs for the Kings XI Punjab at an average of 60 and a phenomenal strike-rate of 145.83. His consistency has been extraordinary, having blasted two tons and two half-centuries.

“If you are given the exposure in life, whether you are a carpenter or a doctor, and you have the will, there will be improvement,” said Dippenaar.

“Amla has been given the exposure and he has benefited richly,” he said.

The right-handed South African all-time great has always been known to be very good square of the wicket, especially by using his wrists and phenomenal bat speed to carve the ball through the covers, to point, or whip it through mid-wicket.

But in the 2017-version of the IPL, he has blasted sixes with contemptuous ease over extra cover,

“Mind-set is a key to his improvement. Hashim has always had the ability to hit it past extra cover. Now he goes over extra cover and long-off,” says Nicky Bojé, a former bowling allrounder.

“But it is really special that players like Hashim, Jacques Kallis and Sachin Tendulkar can play at a superb strike-rate by utilising orthodox cricket shots and do it in a pure way to bisect the inner ring,” he added.

“He has definitely extended the arc by more deliberately developing more shots and speeding up his game,” said Mark Boucher, a former South African test star who featured in 291 One Day Internationals.

“Hashim is somebody who never wants to be left behind. The other day I saw him play the reverse lap at the IPL, which was something quite new to his game, an indication that he has toiled hard to extend his repertoire of attacking shots,” Boucher said.

“There is no doubt that this success can translate to his form in the ODIs. It almost always happens when players perform at T20-level,” said Dippenaar.

The form of Amla is an enormously positive sign for South Africa, as they will now have two openers whose explosive shot-making can unnerve opening bowlers. Quinton de Kock was included in the World XI in one-day cricket when the International Cricket Council (ICC) picked their best team for the period that ended in September 2016.

The prolific Cape Cobras opener has now added his name to the short-list of players that should be considered for the shadow one-day team of the ICC in September 2017.


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