Team always comes first for me, says in-form Amla

“I'm not sure in my early days if I was looking past the next game,” Amla said on Friday, referring to his first three Tests that netted just 62 runs. “Fortunately, things have gone well and I've managed to reach 50 Tests.”

The soft-spoken Amla didn’t want the pressure of playing in front of his home crowd to get to him. “Playing any Test match at my home ground is a special occasion. Being the 50th Test doesn't make it any more important,” he remarked. “The team always comes first and the fact that we won the last Test in a big series has taken precedence over any other distraction.”

Amla isn’t unaware of his poor record at his home ground – just 133 runs in nine Test innings. “It would be lovely if I can make a hundred because my record here is not fantastic in Test matches,” he admitted. “In saying that, I've always enjoyed playing at Kingsmead. It would be lovely to make a good contribution to the team here.”

With 630 runs from his last four innings, Amla has had the Indian bowling by the scruff of the neck. “It's quite funny, actually,” he laughed, searching for answers to why he had had such outstanding success against India.

“I really don't know what to say. I'm just grateful that I've had a good year so far, and the year is not over yet. At the end of the day, it's the players who can perform consistently that stand out. I don’t think it's anything in particular about the Indian bowling that I had relished. Things have just worked out for me in the one-dayers and Tests this year.”

Durban isn’t just Amla’s home but also home to a sizeable population of Indian origin. “Whenever the Indians have played here, they've had good support,” he conceded. “But you know that in the middle, it's a different ball game. They may have a bit more support here than in other places but the game is played on the wicket and that's where you're going to need it.”

Comments (+)