Quinton’s Test retirement has further crippled South African batting - Amla

It is imperative for Temba Bavuma to bat higher up the order now that Quinton de Kock has opted out of Test cricket, says former batter Amla.

Quinton de Kock opted out of Test cricket citing the need to spend more time with his family.   -  REUTERS

A weakened South African batting line-up has been “crippled further” by the sudden retirement of the seasoned Quinton de Kock, feels former batter Hashim Amla.

At 29, de Kock called time on his Test career last week citing the need to spend more time with his family.

“Our two best batters in the middle are Temba (Bavuma) and Quinton,” Amla was quoted as saying by Sport24.

“Now that Quinton has opted out of Test cricket, this cripples the batting line-up further and, now more than ever, it makes it imperative for Temba to bat higher - be it three or four, allow him time to play a solidifying role as opposed to a recovery one,” Amla said.

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Despite de Kock’s retirement, Amla believed the Proteas could still bounce back and defend their record of having never lost a home series to India.

Needed: ‘Laser-like focus, touch of fortune’

“There’s certainly a way back, but it’s going to take laser-like focus for extended periods and a touch a fortune,” Amla said.

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“(Captain) Dean (Elgar) and Aiden (Markram) are class players with a pedigree for hundreds and, if they get momentum, it would certainly ease the nerves and give much-needed confidence for the younger guys,” Amla said.

The Proteas were bowled out for 197 and 191 at Centurion’s SuperSport Park to suffer a 113-run loss to India in the opening Test.

Amla, who scored more than 9,000 Test runs and also captained South Africa, acknowledged the “fair” result in the opening Test.

“It was a fair result,” said Amla.

“Centurion is notorious for becoming more difficult to bat as the days progress. So once India won the toss, batted and scored in excess of 300, it was game on for the Protea batters to match that score at the very least. Being 130 runs behind is what really hurt them, and it ended up being the difference,” Amla concluded.

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