Spinners could play a big role, says Amla

DUBAI - South Africa would pin their hopes on spinners – Johan Botha and Paul Harris – to lead the team to a victory over Pakistan in the first Test at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Tuesday.

By Adur Pradeep

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Published: Tue 16 Nov 2010, 11:58 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 2:47 AM

“Spinners should come into play. They will probably bowl a lot more overs,” Hashim Amla, who hit a magnificent century on Monday, told reporters.

The dashing batsman also warned that their pacers, especially Dale Steyn, could be a dangerous prospect on the final day.

“If we can get the ball to reverse swing, then our seamers will be more effective. I have seen Steyn bowling on flat wickets with the ball reversing and doing devastating things. But I guess spinners could play a big role.”

Amla, who added a 242-run third wicket partnership with Jacques Kallis, felt the wicket was a bit flat.

“I think the wicket is a bit flat. Fortunately for myself and Jacques, we got a partnership going and I think that made a lot easier to score. For a new batter coming in, it is pretty difficult but once you get in, it is lot easier. Because of the lead, Pakistan had to put a few fielders back to limit the boundaries.”

Still, he felt there is enough on the wicket to produce a result on the fifth day.

“The short ball doesn’t come up and sometimes it keeps a bit low. For a batsman, it is a bit disconcerting. Hopefully we get an early breakthrough tomorrow morning. Then we can put some pressure on Pakistan team. Hopefully then we can go through them.

“I think it is going to be a lot of hard work. Certainly the wicket will assist us in some degrees but there is no complacency in our camp. We know it is going to be a long, hard day tomorrow.”

Asked about his partnerships with Kallis, Amla, who hit 11 Test centuries, said: “We managed to get a few partnerships together and today was one of them. In run scoring, Jacques is very level headed and calm.”

On Pakistan’s bowling, he said the absence of pacer Wahab Riaz hit them badly.

“Wahab Riaz’s injury obviously set them back a bit. Certainly, not having another seamer to be able to call on hurt them. They had limited options and me and Kallis were fortunate in that respect. I thought their spinners bowled well. Amala, who was in devastating form this season, said there is no secret behind his success. “There is no secret. I cannot try and change too much. I tired to just bat the way I do and keep things simple. I don’t attribute to anything special. I tried to gain as much experience in this game and fortunately it is coming through.”

Asked about the forthcoming series against India, he said: “For me the key is to try and perform in each game. Obviously, India is a big series at home but at the moment we will be busy here and all of us are focused on these games.”

Meanwhile Kallis, who made a polished 135, said the wicket was pretty slow.

“I think Hashim and myself got ourselves to a good start, we were always ahead of the rate, we complemented each other well. It was tough scoring, the wicket is pretty slow, outfield is slow as well. We put away the bad balls that we got, and got to a total we were happy with.”

“We probably scored a bit quicker than expected, we were looking to score around 420. I think being calm is just about being comfortable with your game plan.

He also lauded Amla for his spectacular performance.

“Amla has been incredible this year, he has come a long way, people said he wouldn’t cut it with that back lift, I think he has proved a few people wrong. It’s definitely a happy dressing-room after the day.”


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