Hashim Amla’s magnificent triple century makes him the CEAT International Cricketer of the Week by a long margin ahead of the other contenders. This is probably the biggest margin in the history of the CEAT International Cricketers of the Week, but Amla fully deserves it. He has become the first South African cricketer to get to a triple ton.
There have been many Proteas players before him rated as great in the history of the game, but none of them got close to a triple. That he did it when the month of Ramadan had begun and being a true believer he would have observed the fasts makes it an even more extraordinary achievement.
Not too long ago his inclusion in the South African team was touted as being part of the affirmative action that came about after apartheid was dismantled. Some former South African players, who revelled in the apartheid era, called it reverse apartheid but Amla has shut them all up even as he has inspired many more to take up the game and believe that they too have a chance to make it big if they work hard.
England’s defeat did not look possible when they finished the first day with just two wickets down, but the South African bowlers picked themselves up and used the second new ball to great effect and restricted England to under 400 and then piled up 600 plus themselves. Then Steyn showed why he is the number one bowler in the world, with a terrific burst of bowling to send England tumbling to an innings defeat.
Understandably there was much criticism about England’s batting in the second innings, but it was Geoff Boycott, who stirred the pot by calling the efforts of the England batsmen 'selfish'. His reasoning was that if batsmen who cannot get a move on when the team needs quick runs are called self centred, then the other side of the coin is when a team needs to occupy the crease to save a game and batsmen get out playing shots should also be called the same.
Unfortunately, it will take more than Boycotts description to change the perception that batsmen who throw their wickets playing shots are as self centred as those who take their time to get runs when the team needs them in a hurry.
South Africans win gives them the chance of becoming the number one team in the world if they win another Test in the three match series and with the kind of form their batting and bowling is in that is a real possibility.
Professional Management Group