Amla in fine form
Shaun Pollock and Ian Botham praised Hashim Amla's superb innings for South Africa in the 5th ODI.
Last Updated: 06/09/12 10:17am
Shaun Pollock and Ian Botham were full of praise for Hashim Amla's superb innings as South Africa claimed a draw from the one-day series with England.
The tourists won the final match by seven wickets at Trent Bridge to level the series at two apiece and were steered home by an unbroken stand of 172 between Amla and AB de Villiers.
England's 182 total never looked like a winning score, but South Africa were under pressure after being reduced to 14-3, before Amla took control
He finished on 97 not out to average more than 100 in both the Test and one-day series and the Sky Sports experts were full of admiration.
"Amla has been fantastic - he has been given a few opportunities, we cannot deny that - but he has been in such great form and he has cashed in," said Pollock on Sky Sports.
"He does not get sick of batting and continues on his merry way to build big scores. He is a very disciplined person off the field and that applies to his batting as well. He does not mess with his form and has the real ability to score off both sides of the wicket.
"We see Graeme Smith for example who loves to work the ball leg side but Amla plays it offside and the leg side - he is just a quality player all around the wicket.
"I have seen individual innings from him that have been superb but to back it up consistently over this period of time, well there is no doubt that he is in the form of his life. As I said he did get the odd opportunity and thanks for England for giving him the extra chance!"
Botham agreed with Pollock and says that Amla's ability to work the wicket puts him up there with the greats.
"The thing that always surprises me about him is how hard he hits the ball, he makes it look very effortless," he added.
"He is very difficult to play and that is why his strike rate is so good because he plays both sides of the wicket.
"He opens and closes the face as well as anyone I have seen for a long, long time - he is up there with Javed Miandad and people like that."
Sort it out!
As far as England is concerned, the Kevin Pietersen saga is still hanging over their heads and Botham says it has gone on too long.
"Sort it out. Simple as that, just sort it out. The longer you drag it out the more complicated it gets.
"The whole point is that it should have been nipped in the bud, the captain went away to sort out his future, well okay. But then come back and then get it sorted.
"No one knows what is going on in that dressing room. Everyone will want to know what was in those texts. That is the crux of the matter: what did he actually say?
"That will determine what people think of Kevin Pietersen in that England dressing room."