'Lot of excitement at the moment' as Hamza gears up for Test debut




Over the last two seasons, Hamza has averaged close to 50 for Cape Cobras.

Over the last two seasons, Hamza has averaged close to 50 for Cape Cobras. © Getty

Even as no confirmation has reached Zubayr Hamza, the 23-year-old looks all set to make his Test debut, replacing skipper Faf du Plessis who is serving a one-match suspension due to poor over-rate. Hamza is expected to slot in the middle-order for the third Test at his home town – in Cape Town – starting on Friday, as the hosts look to complete a clean sweep.

“As a batting unit, It’s something you only dream of, batting with these guys, playing in the same side and representing your country,” said Hamza at the Wanderers. “I haven’t received confirmation if I am playing or not. If given the chance that would be great.

“I have really enjoyed my time so far, the training has been intense and everyone has been welcoming. I have felt comfortable within the team surrounding. If given the chance, I am looking forward to it. There is a lot of excitement at the moment.”

Hamza hasn’t scored a first-class century this season and hasn’t had much game time – including missing Mzansi Super League – either being in the reserves of the South African side. However, over the last two seasons, he has averaged close to 50 for Cape Cobras.

“It was disappointing, but the month off [from the MSL] gave me perspective and I focused on working on myself and on my game,” he said. “Yes I haven’t started off too well this season with franchise cricket but I don’t feel out of form. I still feel like I’m batting well and that I have a lot to offer. The runs and performances haven’t shown it but that is not how I feel, I have been batting well. I have been training well with the world-class coaching staff that we have here, and I have learnt a lot so far.”

Born and brought up in Cape Town, Hamza idolises Hashim Amla and Jacques Kallis but explains why it is not the person but various aspects of different cricketers’ personalities that he looks up to. “When I look up to someone, it’s not necessarily the person they are, but a combination of a whole lot of people and what they bring to the game. Faf for example is very cool and calm at the crease. Then there’s Kallis’ technique, or Virat Kohli’s passion. Stuff like that, I pay attention to. I look up to those things.

“I have learnt a lot from every individual in the team, whether it is on the field or off the field. For me, I’d like to stay true to myself and stick to the game plans that have got me to this position. I will try to be self-confident and have self-belief.

“I have tucked under a few guys’ wings so far. I’ve been leeching as much information as I can about what it takes to perform at this level, and then sort of combining it and finding my own mixture to try and perform as an individual.”

© Cricbuzz


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