Amla shoulders burden of batting woes


South Africa captain Hashim Amla has admitted that it is time for him to start leading from the front with the bat following his team's 241-run loss to England in the first Test in Durban on Wednesday.

Amla attributed the continued batting woes to a lack of confidence rather than poor technique, and says it's his responsibility as captain to lead with performances so that the rest can follow.

The Proteas were twice bowled out for less than 220 in the match at Kingsmead, with only opener Dean Elgar (118* in the first innings) going past fifty for the hosts.
Amla said after the game: "It's been disappointing for everybody. I certainly think it's a confidence thing and we don't know how long it will go on for but we hope that we are close to turning it around.

"Dean (Elgar) started it off brilliantly, his hundred has been the positive light from this Test match for us. He batted well in India and the way he batted in this game is a good lesson for everyone.  

"I think because the wickets were good cricket wickets and we didn't manage to capitalise on that. I think it's part of the game, we were in a good position and getting England out for 300 was probably 30 runs more than we wanted.

"Not scoring the runs has been our Achilles' heel for a couple of Test matches, that's probably the most disappointing."

Amla started off his captaincy tenure in 2014 with series wins against Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka and the West Indies, but in 2015 his record is less rosy, with a rain-affected drawn series against Bangladesh and the loss to India last month.

He says his hunger and desire to captain South Africa is bigger than before, and is determined to start the new year positively after a 'tough' 2015.

Amla continued: "I have been disappointed not to get the runs that I've wanted to. It started off well last year when I got some runs but not being able to maintain it has been disappointing.

"Certainly as captain you want to lead from the front. Hopefully I can turn it around in the next match, start leading from the front by getting the runs on the board so that the boys can follow."

The second Test starts in Cape Town of the four-match series starts in Cape Town on Saturday.