It was not often Amla took centre stage other than when batting in the middle, but it was during the tour to Australia in 2016 when the most experienced Protea rallied behind his captain Faf du Plessis. Incensed at the accusation levelled against Faf, which claimed the Proteas skipper used his saliva from sucking a mint to shine the ball, Amla, armed with the entire Proteas team in tow behind him, hit back at the Aussie media on the outskirts of the MCG outfield.
‘Can I have a hug, Ricky?’
It was Ponting’s final Test at the WACA in 2012, when Amla asked the legendary Aussie batsman if he could hug him before he left the field. Ricky responded positively, the two great batsmen sharing a moment.
The Silent Warrior
Unlike most modern-day batsmen, Amla was quite reserved when reaching a milestone. There was never any passionate embrace of teammates, jumping in the air, or over-exaggerated first pumps. Instead, a calm removal of the helmet before raising both hands along with his bat in the air in appreciation of the crowd’s applause.
It is something that probably went amiss throughout Amla’s career, but did you ever notice he never stood while sipping from his water bottle during a drinks break? Amla would always kneel when drinking, and later on his batting partners followed suit.
Amla had a brief stint as Proteas Test captain, and the highlight of his reign was the series victory in Sri Lanka in 2014 - a feat that had not been achieved since 1993. Amla initiated a bold declaration in the first Test in Galle that allowed our bowlers to close out the win.