'Amla provides authentic feel to T20 line-up'

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South Africa coach Russell Domingo is impressed with the way batsman Hashim Amla has adapted his game towards T20 cricket when required, and feels the team needs an 'authentic' stroke player at the top of the order.

South Africa coach Russell Domingo is impressed with the way batsman Hashim Amla has adapted his game towards T20 cricket when required, and feels the team needs an 'authentic' stroke player at the top of the order.

Amla made two scores of 48 and a handy 31 in the T20s against Pakistan, both in the UAE and South Africa, and Domingo was happy with his efforts alongside young Quinton de Kock, providing a more technically sound impact on the hit-or-miss format.

The coach told <i>Daily Maverick</i>: "I wanted to have a look at how Hashim goes in the T20s, and he has struck up a good relationship with Quinton at the top. With the hitting ability of JP, AB and Miller in the middle, I think it's important to have that mature and authentic player at the top.

"Guys like Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara do it for Sri Lanka, and it's very valuable. Hashim's strike rate in one-day cricket is as good as anyone else's, so I don't see why he should be different in T20s."

Domingo was also insistent that despite recent results and the Proteas' below-par T20 ranking, the players took the format seriously and were looking to improve with each match, especially with the World Twenty20 coming up.

He said: "When we play T20 cricket, they are fully committed to it. I love the format and I think our team is on the right path. We're getting a good structure together.

"I don't think it could ever be cast aside from the rest of the game. There are a lot of similarities between T20s and ODIs. It's a specialised format and it takes a special player to play it."

Domingo also spoke of dropped Titans batsman Henry Davids, saying: "It's a bit unlucky for Davids – he had a poor tour to Sri Lanka. He is a quality player and no matter where he bats, he's good enough to make it work for him.

"That's just the nature of T20 cricket; you can make an impact in five or six balls or you can get out in five or six balls. He remains in our plans."

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