The crisis in South African cricket is no longer a secret. If there were doubts of a void being created with the exit of the stalwarts like AB de Villiers and Hashim Amla in the batting department, they were confirmed after South Africa's crushing defeat at the hands of India in the recently concluded Test series. While pundits have lamented the decline, Amla feels it is a matter of time before the Proteas come back strongly. In fact, he is willing to return and help the young batsmen in the team in a coaching role.
Speaking to IANS, the former skipper said that the long-term plan is to get back to helping the young batters and give back to the game. But he feels this is a phase that every team goes through when rebuilding after the retirement of the senior players.
"I have just retired and while we were playing we did try to help out the kids. In terms of youngsters coming in, you can have one or two guys lead the team. The South African team does have experience, you have Quinton de Kock, Faf du Plessis as well as Kagiso Rabada. These guys have played over the years. In terms of us getting back, definitely, this is something I enjoyed (batting) and I enjoy getting involved with young batsmen and that was always my intention, to be involved," he revealed.
Asked if he could also be seen coming out of retirement, Amla answered in the negative. "As a player, no chance," he laughed.
Coming to the Test series loss to India, Amla admitted that as a former player and a cricket lover it was indeed sad to see the Proteas lose without a fight. But he once again reiterated that it is all about learning from setbacks like the teams of South Africa have in the past.
"Yes, obviously for anyone supporting the team it was disappointing that we lost. I know that the players tried their best and India were the better team. We had our moments, but couldn't match up to do it for long enough. As a cricket fan it was a bit sad but knowing the South African team, the one we have been involved with over the years, these type of setbacks generally sees the South African team come back strongly. There is no team in the world that goes through victories all the time. There are times when things will be difficult and this is just a difficult time for South Africa," he explained.
Considered one of the best batsmen to have played the game, Amla feels this Indian bowling line-up makes the Indian team almost invincible, especially at home.
"India have a good bowling line-up. In the series against South Africa, all the bowlers were at the top of their game and you don't often have that. The South African team in the past has had phases when all the bowlers have been on the top of their game and we have won games because at the end of the day you need to pick 20 wickets to win the match. An Indian team which has a bowling attack like this becomes a difficult team to beat, especially at home," he pointed.
Asked about where the Proteas bowlers are going wrong, he said: "When you are touring away from home, you need many bowlers who are at the top of their game. We at the moment..KG is a world-class bowler, Vernon Philander is a world-class bowler..are not at the top of our game. This is a learning curve that the young players will go through and we also did go through this in our career. Those are stepping stones to become a quality side. You have to go through the tough times to appreciate the good times."