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Ken Borland



Relax people, Hashim Amla is back to his best 0

Posted on May 15, 2017 by Ken

 

Proteas batting coach Neil McKenzie said on Monday that people were justified in feeling some concern over Hashim Amla’s batting form, but that they can all relax now because the Bearded Wonder has shown he is back to his best with two centuries in the Indian Premier League.

Amla slammed an aggressive 104 off just 60 balls for the Punjab Kings XI against the Gujarat Lions at the weekend, having two weeks earlier made the same score off the same number of deliveries in an unbeaten knock against the Mumbai Indians. Amazingly, Amla ended on the losing side in both games, the first player to suffer this fate twice in IPL history, while he is only the third batsman after Chris Gayle (2011) and Virat Kohli (3 in 2016) to score multiple centuries in an IPL season.

“Hashim’s form had dipped, he was only averaging 30 in ODIs and Tests over the last 18 months, his form was a little erratic and people aren’t used to that. But you can’t keep a player of his quality down for long. He sets such high standards for himself but this happens in cricket and his returns have not been what he would have expected and it went on for longer than he would have liked. But to score two hundreds in an IPL season is a serious feat,” McKenzie told The Citizen on Monday.

The Highveld Lions and Proteas stalwart disputed the theory that Amla’s dip in form had anything to do with any weakening of the eyes, but put it down to slight changes in the batsman’s approach.

“I don’t buy that business about the eyes going, Hashim’s only 34. But if you look at how he’s been working on being ultra-positive, his power-hitting and the areas he’s hitting the ball, then it’s like a golfer who changes his swing: you sometimes need to go through that little dip, you just need time to work it all out.

“There hasn’t been any drastic change in Hashim’s batting and it’s just a matter of finding the right balance. In 20/20 cricket he’s looking to play some shots, to take it on, and it’s freed him up. Previously he’s just batted normally and he’s been really good for us in 50-over cricket as our banker, batting aggressively but playing his own game and taking us through 30 or 40 overs. That’s worked well and when he scores hundreds for the Proteas, we normally win,” McKenzie, who was still scoring plenty of first-class runs in his 40s, said.

Most pleasingly, it means Amla will now take great form into the Champions Trophy, which starts in England on June 1.

“He’ll be really happy to be taking runs into the Champions Trophy and you want your huge players like him going into tournaments with a lot of confidence, and it gives the team confidence as well. We have a lot of matchwinners and we just need one or two of them to find some serious form. We know we’ve got the players, and now it’s just a matter of timing, form and some luck,” McKenzie said.

 

 

 

CSA will deal with no IPL because it was not expected – Lorgat 0

Posted on March 14, 2014 by Ken

Chief executive Haroon Lorgat said on Thursday that hosting some of the 2014 Indian Premier League (IPL) would have been a “windfall” for Cricket South Africa, but the organisation had not catered for the tournament in their financial forecasts.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced on Wednesday that this year’s IPL would begin in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on April 16, before moving to India from May 1, with Bangladesh on standby should the elections in India not allow them to host it until later that month.

The announcement put to an end speculation that South Africa would host some of the tournament, having successfully staged the entire 2009 event.

“We weren’t surprised at all by the BCCI announcement, they want to play the tournament close to home. We were involved in discussions all along and we were informed of the decision before it went public. It made sense to have the first 16 games in the UAE, if they needed longer outside India then maybe we would have featured,” Lorgat said on Thursday.

“But we never had any plans for the IPL in our forecasts. It would have been a windfall, but it’s something we hadn’t bargained for. If it had come here, we would have embraced it, but equally we can deal with it not coming here. It’s their tournament and we respect their choice.”

With Lorgat and CSA having a well-publicised falling out with the BCCI last year and India, Australia and England staging a virtual coup to take control of the International Cricket Council (ICC), there have been fears that South African cricket would be sidelined.

But Lorgat revealed there has been a rush of activity in negotiations with other boards that would see more Test cricket being played here.

“We are very keen to play four-Test series against Australia and we’ve gone some way to agreeing to that, although it’s dependent on the calendar. If we can fit it in, then we will do that.

“And we are talking to England and have agreed in principle to play a five-Test series in 2015/16. So we’ve already achieved a lot working together since the original ICC proposal, which has already been changed considerably,” Lorgat said.

The CEO also denied reports from India that CSA had refused to stage only part of the IPL, wanting the whole tournament or nothing.

“To say we made demands like that is totally untrue and the amounts of money that we were reported to have wanted have also been exaggerated,” Lorgat said.

 



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