Hall backs Amla, De Villiers to show their class


Andrew Hall expects South Africa captain Hashim Amla and his deputy AB de Villiers to come to the fore during the Test series against England.

The prolific Amla made only 118 runs in four Tests at an average of 16.85 as the Proteas slumped to their first overseas series defeat in the longest format of the game for nine years against India.

De Villiers came out of the recent 3-0 defeat with more credit, having averaged 36.85 and making a top score of 85 in the drawn match in Bangalore.

Amla and De Villiers, who will keep wicket in at least the first two Tests, will be under pressure to inspire the top-ranked side in Test cricket to victory in the four-match series against England, which starts on Saturday.

And former South Africa all-rounder Hall is confident two of the best batsmen in the world will show their class as they attempt to atone for the team's struggles on the subcontinent. 

He told Omnisport: "Amla and De Villiers are the type of players who you know there is a big score just around the corner and it's only a matter of time before they do that.

"Playing on home soil, they know the conditions. This series is going to be very much about which team performs the best on the day and cope best with the conditions.

"They have both come from playing in conditions where there was a lot of turn and they did not cope with it well and I can't see South Africa preparing wickets which will offer a lot of turn."

Hall, who played 111 times for his country, sees no reason for South Africa to panic following their thrashing in India.

He added: "When you play in India with wickets that offer such a lot of turn, as soon as you get down to your batters that have not played in conditions like that they will struggle.

"We've seen it in the past, and on the tours I went on, when you have not experienced it yourself you get dragged into playing defensively and don't play as you would in your home country.

"I don't think there will be a knee-jerk reaction where all of a sudden we say we are now rubbish.

"They know what they can do and I expect it to be a very good series, we've seen England play very well against Australia and it will be important for the bowlers to use the conditions well."