Proteas selectors wait on Amla's baby

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South Africa batsman Hashim Amla has to be back in the UAE by Tuesday if he wants to play in the second Test against Pakistan, as he has gone back home for the birth of his child.

South Africa batsman Hashim Amla has to be back in the UAE by Tuesday if he wants to play in the second Test against Pakistan, as he has gone back home for the birth of his child.

The batsman, who made a century in the first Test defeat in Abu Dhabi, flew back to SA on Friday, though the baby's due date is unknown. Amla said he would like to be back in time for the match, but couldn't guarantee it.

Amla said before jetting back to South Africa: "It's a waiting game in many respects, a bit of a Test match actually. I'll just have to see what happens. Whenever it does happen, soon after that I'll try and get back here."

Amla went on to say that while the Proteas were disappointed with the loss, they weren't downhearted and would come back strongly in Dubai, while still not underestimating Pakistan, whose spinners posed the most problems.

He said: "We know where we have gone wrong and the guys take a lot of pride in their performance. We haven't been up to par. Guys will just go back, adjust where they've gone wrong and lot of hard work will be put in in the training sessions.

"I don't think we were surprised by how well Pakistan played. We knew they are a good team, especially in these conditions. On the whole, they just played better cricket than us.

"The seamers bowled well and the spinners backed it up on a wicket that didn't turn a great deal but turned enough to make it difficult."

If Amla fails to make it back in time, the selectors will have to decide about a replacement, with Dean Elgar the likely batsman to step into the breach, even though his Test record has not been great so far, averaging 32 after six games.

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