Zubayr Hamza is positive as he looks to perfect domestic game
Since being a prodigy at Rondebosch Boys’ High School, Zubayr Hamza has been touted for national honours.
Over the past few months, this dream was realised with Hamza representing the Proteas at Test level. Unfortunately for the 25-year-old, he found the air just a little too thin at the highest level and was subsequently dropped for the final Test against England at the Wanderers.
It would have been a bitter pill to swallow, particularly after his replacement at No 3 Rassie van der Dussen, fell just two runs short of being the only South African batsman to compile a century in the entire series.
Hamza has opted not to wallow in his own misery, though, with the stylish right-hander getting straight back to business with his franchise, the Cape Cobras, in the Momentum One-Day Cup.
"I look at the facts. I got six (Test) innings and I didn't score in any of them," he said.
"If you don't perform and take your opportunities, then I don't think you really have a leg to stand on in that regard. The difference was the pressure, the scrutiny and, at times, the pressure of performance.
"Yes, the level is higher, but I think mentally that is the space to grow in terms of the two levels. It was a good experience. It was tough and didn't go the way I had planned, but you live, and you learn.
"I'm feeling alright. I'm still positive and confident that I can do a job."
Hamza certainly did a "job" for the Cobras on Sunday in Pietermaritzburg. With the added motivation to prove that he should not be pigeon-holed as a “red-ball” specialist either, he struck a superb 129 off 133 balls (8 fours, 1 six) to help his side amass 320/6 against the in-form Dolphins on Sunday in Pietermaritzburg.
And with the help of fellow Proteas batsman Pieter Malan (71 off 81 balls), it was just enough to get the Cobras over the line by six runs on the DLS method.
"It was a big innings for me,” Hamza said. "I have been working on my role and gameplans in one-day cricket. It is about sticking to my strengths and not venturing too far from it.
"The last two games I have been ‘in’ but I was run out and then threw my wicket away against Lions at a crucial time in the game. So, I sat down with Ashwell and had a good chat about knowing my scoring options and being able to rotate the strike during the middle periods so I don’t get bogged down. To get the 100 and bat through the innings for team was a big thing for me."
Hamza has a further chance to impress on Wednesday when the third-placed Cobras host the fourth-placed Titans at Newlands.@ZaahierAdams