South African team
The South African team, according to Hashim Amla, lacks the "collective experience" of India.

Hashim Amla believes that the Indians’ comfortable win in the series opener at Centurion was due in part to their greater “collective experience,” according to Amla.

Legendary South African batsman Hashim Amla believes the Indian team’s “collective experience” was a crucial component in the tourists’ series-opening win at Centurion. The first Test between India and South Africa ended in a 113-run victory for India at SuperSport Park. Cricket South Africa website quotes Amla as saying, “It was a fair result.” “Over the last two years or so, they (India) have developed into a formidable force. They have greater aggregate experience, and having run on the board to support your arguments always helps.” Only South Africa’s skipper Dean Elgar, Quinton de Kock, Kagiso Rabada, and Lungi Ngidi had significant experience playing in the traditional format, whereas India’s starting lineup had all of the game’s elite players.

Amla credited India’s commanding first-innings lead with deciding the match.

“With time, Centurion’s batting becomes increasingly difficult. India’s batsmen reached more than 300, thus it was up to the Proteas to at least match that total or better “Amla made the comment.

In the end, “being 130 runs behind was what truly damaged them.” South Africa’s 38-year-old batting legend Hashim Amla, who amassed 9282 runs at an average of 46.64 with 28 hundred in 124 Tests, heaped admiration for India’s first-day performance.

“Credit to the Indians for playing disciplined cricket,” he stated after the first day’s play.

There is no doubt that the Proteas batsmen talked about leaving well outside off stump when visiting South Africa, and that is perhaps where they let themselves down. After a shaky start, Amla thought the South African bowlers had fought back admirably.

“Insufficiently testing the defense. That was the first day, but they did a fantastic job of keeping the Indians to 327 on the second. They may have gotten as high as 400.

“It was a roller coaster ride for everyone in the bowling alley. There are a few standouts, however, like Ngidi, Rabada, and the kid (Marco) Jansen. However, in a low-scoring contest, I found Temba Bavuma entertaining to watch. He always appears to have plenty of free time and is rarely bothered.” South Africa still has work to do, but Amla is certain they can rebound and maintain their unbeaten record against India in the home series.

It will require “laser-like attention for extended periods of time, and a touch of a fortune,” he explained.

To calm the team’s worries, “Captain” Elgar and “Adyen” Markram, “great players with a pedigree for hundreds,” “would surely alleviate the nervousness and provide much-needed confidence for the younger boys.” Now that Quinton de Kock has resigned from international cricket, the batting icon wants Temba Bavuma to take his place at the top of the order.

“Temba and Quinton are our two finest middle-of-the-order hitters” (de Kock). Quinton’s decision to retire from Test cricket has further weakened the batting lineup, making it more important than ever for Temba to bat higher.

As long as it’s three or four, give him the opportunity to play a stabilizing role rather than a recovery one.” Wanderers in Johannesburg will host the second Test on January 3-7. AT PTI PDS PDS AT PTI

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