South African skipper Hashim Amla refused to comment on the quality of the pitch on which his team lost the Test series. The 32-year-old spoke about his team’s performance, his experience of facing Kumble and Harbhajan among other things.
On the pitch:-
It’s difficult for me to comment, to be honest, especially being on the losing side. So I will have to try and reserve my comments. But whether you win or lose, as a South African team the way we fought today, you want to lose honourably and you want to win honourably. So I can’t comment too much on the wickets and things like that, just leave it at that.
On having a mediocre series:-
Somebody mentioned the law of averages. You can’t keep scoring runs against the same team all the time, although you would like to. I think the wickets have been a lot more challenging. I know the first time I came to India in 2008, even in 2010, and facing Anil Kumble, Harbhajan. I think if I had to face them on these kind of wickets I wouldn’t have got any runs either, so I put it down more to the wickets.
On the prospect of facing Kumble on Nagpur wicket:-
I remember facing Anil in Chennai and other places, and certainly facing him here would have been a nightmare, so I think the wickets have played their part in making it difficult for all the batters. There hasn’t been a hundred in the series yet, (just) a handful of fifties at least, in both teams; so it would be harsh to say that this South African team has struggled to score runs. I think if you look at the Indian team, although they are on the winning side, it’s been tough for their batters as well, and given the quality of spinners the Indians do have, obviously it’s going to be a lot tougher for us in these conditions.
On playing on one of the toughest surfaces he has ever played:-
The surface was probably the toughest I have had as well, and the cricket itself was really difficult. So credit to India, they bowled well and unfortunately we ended up on the wrong side of this game. If you look at both teams, it would be the same criticism for the Indian team? That’s an important point for me to take into consideration. I don’t think many guys would say that Virat and Murali Vijay are not good players of spin. Obviously they are very good players of spin, but in this series so far they have also managed to find some difficulty. The Indian spinners are certainly exceptional in these conditions, and you’ve got to give it to them.