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World Cup 2019: Hashim Amla to team up with Dale Benkenstein in search of form

Since January 2018, Amla averages just 29.23 and will want to change fortunes in the World Cup.

Hashim Amla
Hashim Amla. (Photo by MARCO LONGARI/AFP/Getty Images)

It is no secret that Hashim Amla has been struggling for form for quite some time now. The 36-year-old batsman has looked a pale shadow of himself in the last 12 to 18 months. In fact, since January 2018, Amla averages just 29.23 (1228 runs in 45 innings) in international cricket, across all three formats. In this period, he has scored just one century. His ODI numbers are a tad better in this period. He has scored 529 runs at an average of 35.26.

The South African limited-overs opener’s runs dried up even in the CSA T20 Challenge. Playing for the Cape Cobras, Amla could muster a mere 92 runs in eight innings which came at a modest strike-rate of 83.63. 32 was his highest score and only score over 20. Hence, after nine games, he opted to make himself unavailable in order to concentrate on fine-tuning his skills ahead of the World Cup.

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Amla has now decided to link up with South Africa’s batting coach Dale Benkenstein as he looks to find some form ahead of the World Cup. CSA selection convenor Linda Zondi didn’t hide the fact that Amla’s form has been a worry. “Yes, it’s been a concern. We can’t say that it hasn’t been a concern, but the preparation is so different for the two formats so we have to back the decision. He wants to bat longer and spend more time with Benky [Benkenstein] to get equipped for 50 over cricket,” Zondi was quoted saying by Sport24.

Dale Steyn is definitely a concern: Zondi

Dale Steyn and injuries have been common in the last few years. However, the way he returned to competitive cricket was encouraging. He remained injury-free for a large part of the South African home summer as well. Steyn’s form was also really good.

He was called in as a replacement for Nathan Coulter-Nile by the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the IPL. However, only after playing two games, he inflated his shoulder injury which ruled him out of the tournament. He flew back to South Africa as well. Linda Zondi, CSA’s selection convenor admitted that his injury is a concern. However, he also admitted that they have a ‘plan B’ ready in case Steyn is ruled out.

“Dale Steyn is definitely a concern,” Zondi said. “We do have our back-ups, but that decision will only be made when the team meets up. We have our ‘plan B’.”

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