The dynamics of batting in international cricket have changed pretty rapidly with the advent of shorter formats. With teams gunning for herculean totals, power hitter have ruled the roost and topped the run scoring charts for over a decade. However, there have been a select few batsmen who could play the game in the old fashioned style and yet been as effective as their counterparts. One such batting maestro whose sublime stroke-making was an absolute treat to the eye was South Africa's batting giant Hashim Amla.
Hashim Amla's mere presence at the crease was a calming influence for South African cricket. The elegant right hander became Proteas batting lynch-pin for almost a decade in all forms of the game.
Amla was a classy strokemaker who had the penchant of producing masterclass knocks courtesy his supple wrists, sublime timing and sound temperament. He did not have the most correct back-lift but yet managed to carve out an effective technique of his own which helped him score plethora of runs.
Be it batting out sessions with his dodged defence and or setting the pace while opening the innings for the Proteas, Amla was equally adept at playing both roles to perfection.
His enormous power of concentration helped him score some daddy hundreds while donning the national uniform for the Proteas.
At the peaks of his prowess, Amla scored runs with superlative consistency and was a pivotal member of a formidable South African team which became the number one Test team in the World. Amla was highly successful all across conditions (home and away) around the world, taming bowling attacks with his refined aggression.
Amla became a prolific run-geter in the ODI format too. Season after season, Amla was among the leading run scorer in one day internationals and was the quickest to get to most of the run milestones (2000, 3000, 4000, 5000, 6000 and 7000 runs). Between 2010 and 2015, he was hailed as the top ODI batsman in the world alongside AB De Villiers and Virat Kohli. He is arguably one of the most successful openers of his time in ODI cricket.
South Africa were held in good stead as Amla formed some lethal opening pairs in ODI cricket with Graeme Smith and Quinton De Cock. While most of his fellow batting contemporaries like AB De Villiers, Faf Du Plessis, Quinton De Kock and JP Duminy were more flashy, Amla went about his run scoring business in unassuming fashion.
Post the semifinal exit in World Cup 2015, Amla's form suddenly nosedived. He was a pale shadow of his dominating self that made him reach the very pinnacle of batsman ship at the international level.
After doing yeoman service to his nation for over 15 years, Amla bid adieu to his glittering career as one of South Africa's greatest batsman. He finished off on a high note as his nation's second highest run scorer ( 9282 runs) in Tests behind the legendary Jacques Kallis and was the third highest run getter (8113 runs) for Proteas in ODIs. Amla is also South Africa's leading ton maker in one day international cricket (27 tons).
55 international tons are a testament to Amla's prowess at scoring tons all through his career. It is no mean feat that Amla is South Africa's lone triple centurion in Test cricket.