Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
“Feel a bit embarrassed to have it because Sir Viv Richards is certainly the master blaster, the original great batsman”
South Africa opening batsman Hashim Amla has announced that he feels “a bit embarrassed” to have beaten the legendary Sir Vivian Richards to 4,000 ODI runs during his team’s 134-run thrashing of India in the second ODI in Durban.
Amla only took 81 innings to reach 4,000 ODI runs, while Richards took 88.
“Feel a bit embarrassed to have it because Sir Viv Richards is certainly the master blaster, the original great batsman,” Amla said. “He is more deserving than anyone else. I have met him on a few occasions, so it makes even more embarrassing. It would be befitting if he was ahead.
“Whatever the case be, there is a lot of one-day cricket these days and no doubt someone else will come along and beat that and the game will just carry on.”
Amla also scored his first ODI century in South Africa during the match, but could only manage to say two sentences about it before moving on to speak about his record-breaking 194-run partnership with Quinton de Kock.
“Very happy,” he said. “Certainly it has been one of my leaner scoring grounds, so I am glad to get some runs. My partnership with Quinny was very vital. He has been batting beautifully. We have kind of clicked a bit. We have kind of got something going.”
Amla continued to praise de Kock, saying: “He has come a long way from the time we were in Sri Lanka, and there were a few doubts about his ability opening the batting against spin.
“But against Pakistan and against India here he has shown he has got all attributes to be a great player. He scores quickly, he has got great thinking when he is batting. I was telling someone else that I have been blown away by the fact that he has got a great calmness when he bats. So it has been a good experience.”
Amla added that de Kock’s mentality when batting had drastically improved as well.
“The way he is approaching his game now [shows it],” Amla said. “We chat between overs, certainly that’s the point that comes through. He has got a great idea on how to score runs. He is an attacking batsman. That’s the best thing you can have as an opener in a one-day team.
“Someone who can take the attack to the bowlers, but when the need be… We have had some difficult batting situations – I remember he came at No. 3 in PE [Port Elizabeth] [against Pakistan], it wasn’t that easy to score, and he assessed that quite quickly, and that is a really good thing. He has played under 20 one-day games. Adjusting like that, hopefully he has got a very bright future.”
While Amla is arguably the best Test batsman in the world, he has now become the centre of attention when it comes to the best ODI openers.
But, he was once again too embarrassed to say that he was the best batsman in either format.
“I am not the best Test batsman in the world,” he said. “Everybody goes through certain phases in their career when they score a lot of runs, and then they go through leaner phases. Fortunately I have managed to get some runs. But I am not going to look too far ahead.”
Immediately after saying that, Amla went right back to lauding de Kock.
“You never know what is around the corner,” Amla said. “Guys like Quinton coming along. He is putting his hand up to be probably one of the best. It’s early to talk and put too much pressure on the youngster, but I think Quinny has a bright future as an opening batsman. For me I am just going to block up one end while he smashes it all over.”