Durban, Dec 25: South African batsman Hashim Amla is bracing up for his maiden century at his home ground here to celebrate his 50th Test appearance.
Amla has had a dream run against India this year. The gritty middle-order batsman scored five hundreds in four Test matches, amassing 630 runs in last four innings. The Indian origin cricketer made a patient 140 in the Centurion Test, which the home side won by an innings and 25 runs.
The second Test match against India beginning Sunday will be Amla’s 50th Test. He said he would like to improve upon his performance in his home ground by scoring his maiden hundred at Kingsmead.
“I have made centuries all over the world but it would be lovely if I can do it in front of my home crowd,” said Amla.
“I am very fortunate to have learnt to play cricket on this wicket – although I am not sure what it will do this week – but the boundaries are also smaller so it is a good opportunity to try and get another high score.
On playing his 50th Test, he said:”I consider every Test match a special occasion so playing in my 50th Test does not make it any more important. The team comes first and I do not like statistics to be a distraction.”
Amla said Zaheer Khan’s inclusion will strengthen the Indian bowling and it will be a challenge to face him.
“If Zaheer is back, it will be a good challenge for our batsmen and we are looking forward to it but we will prepare for him like we prepare for any other bowler.
“Of course, it is always easier to come in when you have a good start on the board. The bowlers are a bit more tired and it gives you the freedom to play yourself in at your own pace.
“We are all feeling quite positive after such a lovely victory and we have all played together now for quite a number of years.
“We want to keep things simple and everyone is highly motivated,” he said. –(IANS)