He was like a monk in an ever changing and dynamic world. He followed the coaching manual and accumulated runs with the consistency of a well-oiled machine.
Hashim Amla will certainly go down as one of the greatest batsmen produced by South Africa in international cricket. He is South Africa’s second-highest run-scorer in Test cricket, with 9282 runs against his name.
He averaged 46.64 in the longest format of the game and scored 28 hundreds and 41 fifties. Moreover, he is the only South African to have scored a triple century in the whites.
Pigeonholed initially as a Test specialist, Amla proved that great players can adapt to any challenge by owning the ODI arena as well. He is the third-highest run-scorer for the Proteas in the 50-over format of the game, having amassed 8113 runs, including 27 hundreds and 39 fifties.
In an international career that was spread over 15 years he played 349 matches across the three formats for the Standard Bank Proteas, making more than 18 000 runs, including 55 centuries and 88 other scores in excess of 50. #ThankYouHash pic.twitter.com/RmUC1bKA6K— Cricket South Africa (@OfficialCSA) August 8, 2019
Amla scored runs by being conventional yet effective. His pristine cover drives through the off side and his delectable flicks past mid-wicket were an absolute treat.
Amla did not possess the charm and flamboyance of his illustrious teammate AB de Villiers, but his runs were worth their weight in gold. He was South Africa's silent warrior, who gave his best for the country, but never got the recognition he deserved.
Amla leaves the international arena at a time when the sport is changing dramatically. This is an era where the manner in which runs are scored does not matter, when conventional stroke play is replaced by unorthodox methods; an era where playing against the turn is no longer frowned upon as long as the fence is cleared.
Amla played the game with poise and dignity and was a batsman whom the connoisseurs of the sport will look back on with a sense of fondness.
Ah! What a true gentleman of the game.