Amla knows how to rediscover form - Rabada

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Kagiso Rabada has backed Hashim Amla to continue to play a key role for South Africa despite the former captain struggling for form with the bat.

Amla has failed to score a Test half-century in his last 10 innings, a run that continued in Cape Town on Wednesday as he was dismissed for a duck in South Africa's match with Sri Lanka.

A pitched-up swinging delivery from Suranga Lakmal saw him back to the pavilion after only five balls on day three, Amla edging to Dinesh Chandimal behind the stumps without troubling the scorers.

The 33-year-old went into the second Test with his form under scrutiny and, with only 29 runs to his name in the match, that is unlikely to change.

Rabada remains a huge fan, though, and is confident Amla has the talent to get himself back in the runs again soon.

"He is not a robot so he is not going to play well all the time," Rabada told a media conference. 

"Hashim is a great player and he knows what to do to get back into form.

"The other players can step [up], although we do rely on him, he is one of the key players in our team because of what he's done in the past, and his leadership and the type of person he is.

"[But] you don't do so well for so long by fluke, he knows what to do to get back."

Despite Amla's failure, South Africa were able to build up a commanding 506-run lead over Sri Lanka and only need six wickets to secure the series after reducing the tourists to 130-4 at stumps - Rabada taking 2-22.