Amla’s record in knockout matches in tournaments is very poor for a player of his class and experience. Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

JOHANNESBURG – Name a memorable innings by Hashim Amla at an ICC tournament? When did Amla change the course of a game in a tournament match? For all his record breaking feats in ODIs, when it has mattered - at an ICC tournament; a World Cup or Champions Trophy - the Amla of a bilateral series, who averages 50 - has been missing.

Amla’s record in knockout matches in tournaments is very poor for a player of his class and experience, it is in those kinds of games, where the best and calmest, are supposed to thrive - Amla doesn’t.

Scores of 1 (Champions Trophy semi-final vs England in 2013), 7 (World Cup quarter-final vs New Zealand in 2011), 16 (WC quarter-final vs Sri Lanka in 2015), 10 (WC semi-final vs NZ in 2015) indicate a player who doesn’t deliver when it matters most in the 50-over format.

This season he has hardly dominated and his most noteworthy innings was an unbeaten 108 versus Pakistan in PE where he critically failed to accelerate the scoring, costing the Proteas a substantial total.

His inconsistency with the bat has also taken place alongside a very poor season in the field.

 Although never a spectacular fielder over the course of his career, he became a reliable grabber in the slips, but this season he has dropped a number of catches that would fall into the category of simple. He can’t be hidden in the outfield either and lacks a strong arm, making him a virtual liability for the Proteas in that department.

Harsh as it is for a player of his standing, this year’s World Cup has come with Amla past his peak in this format.

It is one thing to talk about the value of his experience and composure, but his record in tournaments - especially in those knockout matches or games that matter - would suggest Amla doesn’t deserve a place among the 15 for England and Wales.

@shockerhess

 

IOL Sport

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