Since 2008, the Proteas have been able to call on Hashim Amla time and time again during their hour of need. Indeed, it was the Durban born Amla that was seen as the replacement to Jacques Kallis who had carried out the role of Mr. Dependable with such distinction during the mid-90s up until 2014.
When Kallis, the greatest South African player of all time, eventually decided to call time on his 19-year career there was an unexpected sense of calm around the rainbow nation given that Hashim Amla was, at the time, slaying every bowling attack the world had to offer with the utmost disdain. From Mumbai to Sydney, no one was spared the Amla treatment which is why a nation could come to terms with the retirement of their finest ever player.
— Cricket South Africa (@OfficialCSA) August 5, 2018
The baton was handed over on a warm day in Surrey when Jacques Kallis’ 180 odd runs was overshadowed by Amla’s record-breaking 311 at the Oval in 2012 against an English side that couldn’t stop the Proteas from passing the 600 run mark. All the evidence was that, in actual fact, the Proteas has a worthy replacement who was capable of taking them forward.
And that is exactly what Hashim Amla did in both red and white ball cricket up until around 2017. The rule of thumb with South Africa and Amla during that time was that if he scored runs, the Proteas would normally win. Those days, however, do seem far away now that the man dubbed the Silent Warrior, is not his usual self on the battlefield.
With only a couple of weeks to go before the World Cup starts, the 36-year-old is woefully out of sorts which is a grave concern for the country as they embark on trying to win the World Cup. Part of the reason South Africa are as far down in the latest cricket betting tips at 9/1 is that their star man no longer looks capable of holding the Proteas’ top order together.
In a desperate attempt to find some fluidity with the willow once more, Amla linked up with Proteas batting coach Dale Benkenstein at the end of April for a one-on-one clinic. South African fans will be hoping that has helped in some way but the worry is, that even if he were to begin to time it sweetly once more whilst facing a bowling machine in the nets, it doesn’t necessarily mean he will be able to replicate that form by the time Chris Woakes begins to steam in at the Oval on 30 May.
1??3?? days to go! pic.twitter.com/58IJ5JzEI6
— Cricket World Cup (@cricketworldcup) May 17, 2019
With that in mind, we often hear that form is temporary and class permanent so there should still be hope that Amla will come good but then again at 36-years old, could the time have just arrived when South Africa’s batting stalwart no longer has the power in him to succeed? Whatever the outcome, the 2019 World Cup looks to be Amla’s last hurrah in a Proteas shirt so the world can look forward to one last onslaught from the man they call the Silent Warrior.