India, May 28: Senior South Africa batsman Hashim Amla termed “fasting during Ramadan” as great mental and spiritual exercise, expressing his delight that the World Cup is starting during the holy month.
“It really helps with my conditioning,” Amla told ICC website after South Africa’s rain-affected, final warm-up match against West Indies in Bristol.
“Fasting is something I always look forward to. It’s the best month of the year. I see it as a great mental exercise and also, as a great spiritual exercise.”
Amla was also in England during the fasting month in 2012, when he became South Africa’s highest individual Test run-scorer.
His 311 not out was struck at The Oval, the same venue where South Africa will start the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019 against the hosts, England.
Amla is still not a certainty in the South African playing XI but the senior opener has made a case for himself with successive fifties in the warm-up games ahead of World Cup opener against India in Southampton on June 5.
Amla, one of South Africa’s greatest Test match players, scored 65 and 51 not out respectively in the two warm-up games against Sri Lanka and West Indies (rain affected) and will be keen to add to his tally of 27 ODI hundreds.
However with young Aiden Markram in the side, there is competition as to who would open with Quinton de Kock.
“Scoring runs is always important. Whether I make the playing XI or not is not up to me. I do what I can do and what happens after that is for the benefit of the team,” Amla was quoted as saying by the ICC website.
The veteran opener wants to make every opportunity count and that was the reason he opted out of a domestic T20 competition’s knock-out rounds to prepare for the World Cup.
“T20 is different to fifty-over cricket. I had two weeks with (batting coach) Dale Benkenstein and spent time in the nets batting the way a fifty-over cricketer would bat It was important to have that time. Sometimes it works out; sometimes it doesn’t,” said Amla, who needs another 90 to reach 8000 runs in ODIs.
Amla is however open to helping his teammates with vital information and his experience.
“It’s (guidance) something you don’t try and force. It happens naturally. It’s not something I consciously think about but I think it happens anyway. There’s a lot of experience in the playing XI and the coaching staff so that osmosis of information and knowledge is going to happen anyway. (Agencies)