With four days rained out in the second cricket Test, South African captain Hashim Amla today candidly admitted that he could not take out a lot of positives from the rain-truncated game apart from AB de Villiers’ knock of 85 in his 100th game.
“The most I can take out of it is similar to what I took out of Bangladesh, when the games got rained out. Dale got 400 Test wickets and we held on to that. Now AB played his 100th Test and did pretty well. We’re pretty chuffed about that.
“From a team point of view, I don’t see a great lot of positives to take out, to be quite honest with you. Every time there’s a disappointing session or a disappointing day of cricket, it’s a reflection that happens. That reflection is probably more valuable than most things,” Amla said at the post-match conference.
However the Test skipper did not feel that being bowled out for 214 meant that the Test match had literally ended for them.
“Although we got bowled out for less than 220-odd and India were in a good position at the end of the day, Test matches are not always won on the first day. There was a lot of time left for us to claw our way back into the game. You never know what could have happened, but it wasn’t meant to be.”
Amla said that M Chinnaswamy was a very good wicket to bat on, but no one save De Villiers made use of the opportunity.
“It was a very good wicket. We just didn’t get going with any partnerships. AB was exceptional as always. Unfortunately no one stuck around with him long enough to post a big total. It will be great for us to get some confidence under our belts, not having successful batting stints as yet. But Nagpur is a different Test and hopefully that’s when it starts,” he said.
“Hopefully we get a lot more cricket. The weather in Nagpur should be more cricket-friendly. But we had a similar experience in Bangladesh not too long ago. A few days of Test cricket were washed out and there was nothing we could do about it. We just need to look ahead and hopefully we’ll do better in the next Test,” he added.
(Reopens DEL 36)
However Amla did back his openers Dean Elgar and Stiaan van Zyl, who have not done well in the three innings so far.
Asked if he is mulling a change at the top of the order, Amla answered: “No, I don’t think so. Opening the batting is probably the most difficult job in Test cricket. Sometimes, you’ve got to field for 150 overs and you have 10 minutes to put your pads on. It’s quite a demanding position to be in. Dean and Stiaan are our best openers and they will do a great job for us. With respect to myself and Faf — we haven’t got going but we surely have only ourselves to blame. No one else.”
Amla though could not commit on Dale Steyn’s fitness and availability for the next Test match in Nagpur.
“I am not 100 per cent sure what the exact prognosis is but if he is ready for the next certainly it would be great to have the world’s No.1 (bowler) back in our team. If he was fully fit, he would have played this Test match. I can’t say. I am not sure as I haven’t yet spoken to the physio yet,” he said.