Amla focused on ODI batting duties, not Tests

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South Africa Test captain Hashim Amla says he is not looking at the longest format quite yet, and is focusing his attention on being a batsman in the one-day series that kicks off the tour to Sri Lanka.

South Africa Test captain Hashim Amla says he is not looking at the longest format quite yet, and is focusing his attention on being a batsman in the one-day series that kicks off the tour to Sri Lanka.

Amla, speaking at the departure press conference in Johannesburg, said he was compartmentalising his jobs, and that batting in the three one-dayers was at the forefront of his mind, especially as they look to avenge the four-one series defeat from last year.

Amla said: "Although I have had a few weeks to give the captaincy a little bit more thought, but nothing much has changed. I think a lot will change once the series starts, but up until then, my focus mentally is on the one-day series.

"Fortunately, I was in the UK playing county cricket in preparation for this tour, but in my mind I have been thinking about the ODIs and hopefully we can make amends. The captaincy will come at a later stage."

He added of the lost top Test ranking: "Two matches, I am quite happy about it. Sri Lanka is a tough place to tour. From a rankings perspective, we have dropped to number two, but that is not at the forefront of our objectives.

"We would love to be there (No. 1) as soon as possible but with the kind of new make-up team that we have, it's important to find a winning formula first and things will fall into place later."

The Skipper did go on to discuss some of the challenges in the Test series, most importantly spinner Rangana Herath. Amla, who is one of only two current SA batsmen to have played a Test in Sri Lanka, was wary of the threat.

He said: "We have always viewed Herath as a very good bowler, especially in Sri Lankan conditions. Malinga is not playing Tests anymore, so they have relied on Herath as their main wicket-taker.

"Let's not be forgetting or disrespecting to the other bowlers who have done really well for them, but Herath is a factor. If the wickets do turn, we will deal with it.

"We are fortunate that most of our batters have played in the subcontinent – we have beaten India – and Dubai and in Sri Lanka. Fortunately we have lot of experience and we will draw on that."

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