Amla laments ‘bizarre Test’

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Play was only possible on the opening day – last Thursday – which allowed South Africa’s pace spearhead Dale Steyn sufficient time to claim his 400th Test wicket in Bangladesh’s first innings of 248/8. Since then persistent rain has forced the next four days to be abandoned, and even though the sun finally made an appearance over Dhaka this morning, umpires Richard Kettleborough and Paul Reiffel deemed the outfield unplayable and called off the Test.

“If we had been in South Africa, the game would have been called off yesterday already,” Amla told reporters at the post-match press conference. “It is one of the most bizarre Test matches I have played. I don’t think I have played a Test series where out of 10 days of Test cricket, six days have been rained out. It’s been unique in that sense.

“But going on from the last Test match, there is nothing you can do about the rain. The outfield is better than the drainage that we expected. We obviously came to Bangladesh to win a Test series and to play good cricket, but we go back with some unfulfilled ambitions.”

A major part of the Proteas’ frustrations would be the loss of five ranking points off their World No 1 Test position due to the two-match series being squared 0-0. Regardless of the outcome of the on-going Ashes series in England, second-placed Australia will now close the previous 29-point gap that existed before the series. In contrast, ninth-ranked Bangladesh have gained six points due to having drawn a series with a much higher-ranked opponent.

“It is a really difficult one to understand. If perhaps you played to a 1-1 all draw, then you’ve played enough cricket to make a true reflection. Perhaps this is something that can be relooked at from an ICC perspective. All you want is something that is fair and applies to all teams. I mean us losing points seems a little strange as we haven’t played a lot of cricket. But I’m sure that is something the ICC will have a look at it,” Amla said.

South Africa had arrived in Bangladesh with a host of players set to play their first Tests on the subcontinent and would have liked to see more of opening batsman Stiaan van Zyl, middle-order batsman Temba Bavuma, off-spinner Simon Harmer and wicket-keeper Dane Vilas.

Unfortunately though, a fair judgement will be difficult to make considering the data analysed will only be from a sample size of 309.1 overs out of a possible 900, leaving the Proteas with many unanswered questions ahead of the much-anticipated series against India later this year. Amla, however, believed there were small positives to emerge during the little time that play could actually get underway.

“At the start of this series we spoke about having quite a few inexperienced players in out team. This Bangladesh series was an opportunity for us to look at how they well they were going to perform and gain experience. Not getting this opportunity has not allowed the younger guys to show their talent,” Amla said.

“But from the first Test, our opening partnership seemed quite good. I know it’s just two innings, but we have to take the little positives out of this tour. We saw glimpses of Temba’s talent in the first game too where he batted very well. In this Test, Dane Vilas kept extremely well and he is very good batsman although he didn’t get to show it here. There will be opportunities going forward for them to show their ability.”

Hashim Amla has admitted the washed out second Test against Bangladesh "is one of the most bizarre Test matches I have played".

Original source: Amla laments ‘bizarre Test’

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