South Africa's Hashim Amla celebrates scoring a century at the Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg, on Thursday. Picture: REUTERS/JAMES OATWAY
South Africa's Hashim Amla celebrates scoring a century at the Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg, on Thursday. Picture: REUTERS/JAMES OATWAY

Hashim Amla’s brilliance caught up with him as he was forced to face the media he avoided in the build-up to the match.

Amla became only the eighth player to score a century in his 100th Test.

"When I first got in‚ they bowled well and as a right-hander, it seemed like they had their lines as well‚" he said.

"But I just sucked in and also had a bit of fortune.

"An element of fortune is always important because when you get dropped, you always think that I am going to continue batting on and it is part and parcel of the game."

Asked for the reasons for his low-key build-up to such an auspicious occasion‚ Amla said he wanted his preparations to be as pure as possible.

"I am very grateful to reach 100 Test matches, but my focus was more on scoring runs than anything else.

"The fact that it was my 100th game didn’t feel more important. I remember being involved in AB’s [De Villiers] and Graeme’s [Smith] 100th Test matches and it was a lovely experience. So to be here, having scored some runs feels really good.

"I just wanted to have a quiet build-up. There was some frustration on my side, having not been able to get some runs in the past couple of matches and contribute to the team’s success.

"I wanted my preparations to be as pure as possible … no side attractions‚ no razzmatazz and the most important thing was to work on my game with the least disruption as possible."

Amla arrived at the crease with SA struggling after losing the early wicket of Stephen Cook and he took his time to adjust. SA were in trouble again five balls later with the other opener, Dean Elgar, falling, which saw JP Duminy come in.

"On this type of wicket, the ball is nipping in and myself and JP kept on reminding each other that we must keep our focus.

"I felt that I was batting well.

"When we got back from Australia‚ which was not a good tour for me‚ I touched base with Russell Domingo‚ who I refer to as a coaching buddy‚ and we did a little bit of work and these runs are to thank [him] and all the guys who sent messages of support."

TMG Digital

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