Unflappable Amla laughs off barrage of bad blood

Last updated 08:34 15/11/2012
Hashim Amla
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LAUGH IT OFF: The Australians targeting of Hashim Amla has the South African laughing in the locker room.

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Hashim Amla's amused reaction to the invective hurled at him in Brisbane suggests the Australians should direct their sledges elsewhere when the three-test series resumes in Adelaide.

Meanwhile, the South African camp said the serene batsman and part-time spinner's unusual bowling action had raised no official concerns.

Amla came in for a torrent of abuse from a pumped-up Peter Siddle when a caught-behind appeal was turned down as the Australians strained for wickets on the final day of the drawn opening test at the 'Gabba.

The South African's zen approach to batting produced 104 in the first innings. In the second, Australian frustrations built when he was bowled by a no-ball from James Pattinson, stalling the home side's quest for an improbable win.

Siddle was convinced he'd procured an edge from Amla on 28, and gave him a mouthful when his appeal was denied. Slow-motion replays and Hot Spot revealed no evidence of an edge.

''I actually found it quite humorous,'' Amla said. ''Obviously, the guys were a bit pumped up and thinking that I'd nicked the ball. It's funny when guys get a bit emotional when there's no real need to. So I found it a bit funny at the time, but it's part of the game and fortunately I just hung in there.''

Neither of the fire-breathing Victorians, Siddle or Pattinson (who gave Graeme Smith a pointed send-off), were sanctioned by the ICC for their outbursts. ''That kind of the thing should be left in the umpires' hands but at the end of the day I found it funny and enjoyed the moment,'' Amla said.

Smith was forced to bowl Amla in the absence of the injured JP Duminy. His jerky right-armers drew guffaws from the Gabba crowd and raised eyebrows among some former players, but South African team manager Mohammed Moosajee said no umpires had questioned the legality of Amla's bowling action.

''We have no issue with him, he has bowled in the past domestically, he has bowled in the past in test matches, and up until now we haven't had anybody that has raised any concerns with us,'' Moosajee said.

''It's probably because [Australians] haven't seen him before and he's not what people are used to, but there's never been any reason for concern from a South African franchise perspective or in previous internationals.''

Amla bowled two overs at the Gabba and might not return to the bowling crease as leg-spinner Imran Tahir is set to return in Adelaide.

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''I was a bit upset with Graeme when he took me off,'' Amla said, smiling. ''I put some work in in the nets, I studied the books for the exam, so it's about getting into a rhythm, but Graeme might well rest me in the next game.''

Only Michael Clarke has outscored Amla in tests this year, and he believes Australia's gifted and driven captain is more deserving than him of the ''best batsman in the world'' tag.

He was less willing to shower praise on Australia's bowling attack, despite an improved and aggressive effort in the second innings to have the Proteas five wickets down when the test was called off.

''They are a good attack, in home conditions, and they have done well in a few games before this. But in world cricket these days you've got some decent attacks. In my opinion South Africa has the best attack and Australia and England are also up there.''

- The Age

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