Amla says 'blockathon' was best South Africa could do

Hashim Amla India South Africa test
Hashim Amla had a disappointing outing in the Test series

South African Test captain Hashim Amla was of the opinion that blocking balls like the Proteas did on the last two days of the fourth Test against India was necessary to give them a chance to save the game. It was about trying to spend as much time on the pitch as possible and try and work on their failed batting performance this series.

Amla was speaking to the press after losing the series 3-0. This loss has reduced their lead at the top of the Test rankings table to just four points, with India right on their heels.

β€œWe understood the series was gone so we were hoping to gain something from this game and I think we gained something in terms of batting. Nobody wants to block everything but the need of the time was for us to try and bat as long as we can and take as many risky shots out of the equation.

β€œIt was unnatural to block as many full tosses and half-volleys as we did. But there is no selfishness involved in trying to do what needs to be done for the team,” Amla said.

Although South Africa did not score above 150 in both the innings of the match, the second innings was special because of the sheer determination that the South African middle order showed at the crease.

Amla, AB de Villiers and Faf du Plessis together faced more than 600 balls. In terms of time, the three of them spent more than 12 hours at the crease. Maybe what Amla was stressing on was the discipline with which South Africa should have played their other games.

South Africa crossed the 200-mark while batting only once – in the washed out match at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore. While it is fair to say that few of the pitches used were significantly advantageous to the home side, the Delhi track was not a very bad one for batsmen once they applied themselves.

Probably what South Africa attempted to do was to show that they had fight in them despite trailing 2-0 in the Test series. After falling to the Indian spinners in every Test match of the series, the Proteas were determined to display character and show why they were the Number 1 ranked team in the world.

β€œThe determination was never lost. Every Test match is a very important game so you don't just throw your wicket away or submit the result. You try and fight for everything. I don't think anybody thought we would win.

β€œWe felt that was the best way to save the game. It would have been easy to say, 'Let's go out and have some fun and get some runs under our belt,' but that gains nothing,” Amla explained.

However, what the South Africans attempted was a very farfetched goal – surviving five sessions of cricket against some of the best spin bowlers around. Maybe what they tried was just a bit too late, with respect to their batting.

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Edited by Staff Editor
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