Johannesburg - One of the greatest all-rounders in the game of cricket, Jacques Kallis gave Hashim Amla the thumbs up, saying the newly-appointed Proteas Test captain will make his own history in the longest format of the game.
“I have no doubt Hash will be successful. It's time for him to create his own legacy,” Kallis said at Cricket South Africa's annual awards ceremony in Johannesburg on Wednesday.
Kallis retired from Test cricket in December and was followed by former captain Graeme Smith three months later, leaving a void in the seniority of the South African lineup which might not be so easy to fill.
Kallis, a veteran of 166 Tests, felt Amla would be more than up to the task.
“I think he'll do a good job. He understands the game of cricket pretty well - he's played cricket at the highest level for long enough and succeeded.”
Amla had in the past declined the extra responsibility of leadership to focus on his batting, but now Kallis felt he was ready for the job.
“I think it will help his performances as well. I certainly don't think it will hinder his performances. He's that type of character and it's nice to see him take on that type of role.”
Amla's record with the bad is impeccable, having amassed 6214 runs in 76 Tests, at an average of 51.35. He was the first South African to score a triple century, making 311 not out against England at The Oval in July 2012.
“He's a well-respected player, and that's half the battle as a captain - to have the respect of your players,” Kallis said.
“He gets that automatically with his performances. He'll be the type of captain who will lead from the front through his play.”
In stark contrast to Smith, Amla, the softly-spoken, elegant strokeplayer could be every bit as effective as the former skipper, according to Kallis.
“He's not an in-your-face type of guy. He's pretty much in the background - the quiet type of guy.
“It doesn't mean those guys can't be good leaders. Sometimes those guys are the best leaders. It gives them a chance to step out of the situation and give a unique perspective. He'll have a very calming influence on the side.
“There are some exciting times ahead for him personally.”