England v South Africa: Hashim Amla now 'an awesome batsman'

By Marc HigginsonBBC Sport at The Oval
Hashim Amla
Hashim Amla

Hashim Amla created history when he became the first South African to score a Test triple hundred in the first Test against England at The Kia Oval.

The 29-year-old came to the crease with his team struggling on 1-1, and when they declared almost two days later he had scored 311 not out and helped them to a potentially match-winning 637-2.

He faced 529 balls in an innings that spanned almost 15 hours and contained 35 fours, adding 259 with Graeme Smith for the second wicket and an unbroken 377 with Jacques Kallis for the third.

Former England batsman and Test Match Special summariser Geoffrey Boycott

"I thought Hashim played marvellously well. He reminds me of Mohammad Yousuf from Pakistan.

"I don't mean just in his appearance, but in the way he bats. He looks cool, calm, collected and unruffled.

"He bats in a way that gives very little hope for the bowlers because he is pretty tight in his defence, his technique is good and he plays the same way at the start of his innings as he does at the end of it.

"When he first came into the game, he had a flourish - a loop to his batting - but he has ironed that out and has got better and better. He has had a brilliant year and a half.

"He now opens in South Africa's one-day squad, so he has a wide range of shots. He plays well off the front foot and his back foot shots are excellent. If you bowl them on his hips, he plays those easily too.

"Quality players like him have good concentration and patience. If you don't get them early, it is hard work.

"That is the way it should be: quality players making it hard work for the bowlers. The kid is a good batsman. He has a wide range of shots and a good defence - it's that simple."

Ex-South Africa captain and all-rounder Shaun Pollock

"Becoming the first South African to score a triple century was a wonderful achievement for Hashim.

"However, as a player, I don't think you worry about records too much, although it is a wonderful thing to be able to tick off. I think he will be more happy with the way he played and has set this game up for South Africa with a big score.

"These are really exciting times for him, and it shows how good he is and the powers of concentration he possesses. He is a fantastic player who has come into his own.

"He works hard on his tactics and method of playing and he sticks to that. In the one-day format, he came on to the scene and we thought he was not really suited to that format.

"But he has adapted his game and has found a method that works for him in both Test and one-day matches. He has developed into an awesome batsman."

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