Harare: South Africa did not expect to learn much from their one-off Test against lowly Zimbabwe but Tuesday's nine-wicket victory taught them two things — Hashim Amla is a natural-born leader and Dane Piedt has huge potential at international level.
Amla took over from retired Graeme Smith and led the team to a series victory in Sri Lanka last month. He was intelligent again in Harare in the way he utilised his bowlers and for an individual who had previously shunned leadership positions, he looked comfortable in the role.
“I have enjoyed it, even though we have not been able to play the attacking cricket we would have wanted to given the conditions in Sri Lanka and now here in Zimbabwe,” Amla told reporters on Tuesday. But we have played smart cricket to get the job done and that makes us look forward to tests to come.”
With success on their recent travels, it has been over eight years since South Africa last lost an away Test series. Amla believes it is a record to be proud of but not one that should shape their thinking in matches.
“It’s a wonderful record to have, you want to hang on to records like that but also not be afraid to push for victories. We don't want to make it such a factor that we change our decision-making in a game because of it.”
Piedt recorded match figures of eight for 152, the best ever by a South African spin bowler on Test debut .