Time on the sidelines helps Zubayr Hamza climb the stairs
After an excellent debut against Pakistan, the young batsman is ready to face Sri Lanka at Kingsmead
Oh happy day: December 6‚ when Zubayr Hamza was named in SA’s squad for their Test series against Pakistan. But 35 more days‚ two Tests‚ and a session‚ and another hour‚ had passed without Hamza starting his journey in international cricket. Then Hashim Amla got himself into a tangle trying to play Shadab Khan to midwicket and edged into the cordon… “When that wicket fell and I had to walk down the long Wanderers steps‚ I definitely felt the pressure and the nerves‚” Hamza said. You would not have thought so. The seventh ball he faced‚ from Mohammad Amir‚ squirted away off the edge through gully for four. But the other eight boundaries in his 41 confirmed his class‚ as did a whipped six over midwicket off Khan . Those 35 days of hanging around — although he did play a first-class game for the Cobras during that time — had been valuable after all. “It was important to me to come into the side and be in an environment where I didn’t feel under any pressure to not be myself‚” Hamza sai...