Amla ruled out of limited- overs tour of Australia

  • 1
    Share

Hashim Amla will miss South Africa’s limited-overs tour of Australia in November as he is given time to fully recover from a finger tendon injury ahead of a busy home summer and the World Cup next year.
While South Africa are yet to announce their squad for three ODIs and a T20I against Australia in early November, coach Ottis Gibson confirmed that Amla would not be making the journey.
“As a selection group we’ve discussed that with him already,” Gibson said. “We’re going to give him as much time as possible to get himself ready for the next set of cricket he’s got coming up.”
Amla’s continued absence means that there will be further opportunities for other batsmen to stake a claim at the top of the order in Australia, but Gibson warned that for World Cup hopefuls, “the window is closing”.
“For the last 12 months we’ve been looking at players, and for the next couple of months the window is closing,” he said. “We’re getting closer and closer to the guys who we want on the journey.”
South Africa last played bilateral ODIs in Australia four years ago, at the start of a season that included the 2015 World Cup. Amla and Quinton de Kock were established as an opening pair by then, and have since formed one of South Africa’s best ever opening partnerships, having scored nearly 4000 ODI runs together including the country’s largest stand of all time, their 282-run demolition of Bangladesh last year.
With Amla injured and de Kock rested for the ODIs against Zimbabwe, South Africa trialled Dean Elgar, Aiden Markram and Reeza Hendricks as openers. While Elgar flunked the audition with single-digit scores, Markram and Hendricks put together 75 in the third ODI and Gibson suggested that despite the tricky pitches played on, “we know where we are with those two”.
“We know that Quinny and Hashim has been a fantastic opening pair for the Proteas for a long time, and we also know that Reeza Hendricks and Aiden Markram have also been very good in franchise cricket,” Gibson said. “The wickets at the start of the series, especially in one-day cricket were a bit tough for batting, so from that point of view we didn’t get to see as much as we would have liked, but we know where we are with those two.”
Gibson’s assessment of his top order during the one-dayers against Zimbabwe was made a little more difficult by some erratic early season pitches, particularly in the second ODI in Bloemfontein when a returning Dale Steyn had Zimbabwe’s batsmen ducking and fending during a spell that bordered on outright dangerous. The pitch in Kimberley was also of an entirely different character than expected – the last time South Africa had been there, de Kock and Amla had flattened Bangladesh with that record opening stand.