Hashim Amla praises AB de Villiers’ resistence

Hashim Amla said that he is happy with the way South African bowlers responded in Indian conditions, which is a positive sign going into the England series.

AB de Villiers spent 354 minutes, played 297 balls and scored only 43 runs in South Africa's second innings. Whereas, Hashim Amla spent 289 minutes, played 244 balls and scored only 25 runs.   -  AP

South African captain Hashim Amla tried to look at the positives from the Test series defeat against India following his team’s loss in the fourth and final Test at the Ferozeshah Kotla here on Monday. Amla spoke about various aspects of South African cricket.

On whether team was hopeful of a draw:

At lunch time, when we were three down, we definitely believed we could do it. We knew the last session was always going to be difficult… We tried our best. AB de Villiers did an exceptional job in trying to hold it together for us but unfortunately we couldn't get it to as deep as we would have wanted.

On whether South Africa would have gone for a lesser target:

Absolutely, 480 is a pretty big, daunting target especially if you weigh it up with five sessions to bat. Having come close to that in the past, we felt that it was the best way to try and save the game.

On batting 300 balls for 20:

Nobody wants to block everything. You want to score runs. That's why you are a batsman. But the need of the time was to try and bat as long as we can, to try and take the risky shots out of the equation. It is quite difficult to block full tosses and half-volleys. It is quite unnatural for batting. But when it is done, you kind of appreciate the determination shown. AB was a prime example in this innings, to try and knuckle down for the team's sake. To be unselfish and do what is needed for the team.

On positives from this tour:

Our bowling has been exceptional. For me the shining light was seeing Morne (Morkel) lead in the absence of Dale (Steyn) and Vern (Vernon Philander). From the times we have been to the sub-continent, he bowled some of the best spells I have seen.

I'm happy with the way our bowling responded in these conditions and that's a positive going into the England series.

Having lost the series, we were trying to gain something from this game. We were never going to win this Test. The determination was never lost.

If he would have played previous Tests with same approach:

Sure, then there would have to be a 15-day Test match if we had to do that. If you block, you may survive but you’re not going to score runs. The name of the game is to score runs… Credit to India, they batted really well and outplayed us in this series. They certainly deserve the series victory.

In 2010 you didn’t get out. Here, nothing much went right:

As a captain, you always want to lead from the front... Not being able to score runs in the series certainly was disappointing for me. As a batting unit as a whole, we didn’t manage to get the runs on the board. 2010 was a wonderful year for me when I was here.