Newly appointed Proteas Test Cricket Captain, Hashim Amla, has always cast himself as a reluctant captain in-waiting of sort. Those close to him say he shuns the celebrity limelight which sportsmen have a proclivity for. But they also acknowledge that his unassuming demeanour masks an unflagging competitive streak and calm temperament.
Prior to his recent appointment, for a long time debate on Amla’s captaincy credentials had raged on incessantly. Opinion was split. To some, Amla’s choice for captain was foregone; to others, he was the most capable of the available ‘quota’ appointment alternatives.
Though, those who subscribed to the school of a captain being some brash and in-your-face personality believed Amla was better left in the ‘Silent Killer’ batsman role that wrecked havoc amongst unsuspecting opposition. Instead, AB De Villiers made the cut, so they argued.
Thus, Amla’s appointment has caught some ‘conservative’ sections of the cricket fraternity unawares. Callously, they will put each of his performances under excessive scrutiny – cut it into pieces, screening every bat he makes for a blunder, if possible see one even if it does not exist.
Overall, Amla’s calibre will not just be measured in upstaging the likes of Sri Lanka and Pakistan, but braving the ammunition from people who wish to see him fail as the first black Proteas Test Captain. He has to have dollops of resolve and resilience in equal measure to triumph in tests he will face on the pitch and off it. Welcome to the cockpit Captain Fantastic!