New Delhi, Dec 7: Block, block and block. This was South Africa captain Hashim Amla's strategy in a bid to save the 4th Test against India. Thanks to his blockathon, Amla entered the record books today (December 7).
In the current era of Twenty20 cricket where big hits are the norm, Amla showed how to grind the opposition down with a marathon batting effort at the Feroz Shah Kotla.
The right-handed batsman kept Indian bowlers at bay on Sunday (December 6) and continued his resistance today in the morning session. However, the 32-year-old's long vigil at the crease was ended by Ravindra Jadeja, who finally broke through the defence of the skipper, knocking the off-stump with the second new ball.
As he departed the batting crease after a dogged knock of 25 off 244 balls (288 minutes), Amla made Test history. He played out 230 dot balls while taking 9 singles, 2 doubles and 3 fours.
Amla faced 87 balls from Jadeja and scored only 5 runs before falling to his left-arm spin. He had played out 84 dot balls and had 1 single and 2 doubles from him.
Amla's strike rate of 10.24 is the lowest in Test cricket, for a batsman who has faced 200 or more deliveries. Today's was Amla's 88th Test. His career strike rate is above 50.
The previous lowest strike in Test history was 12.34 by Jack Russell of England in 1995 against South Africa. In the top-10 of the lowest strike rates' list, there is no Indian batsman.
Lowest strike rate in Test innings (minimum 200 balls) - Top 5
1. Hashim Amla (South Africa) - 25 off 244 balls (Strike rate 10.24) Vs India in Delhi (2015)
2. Jack Russell (England) - 29 not out off 235 balls (12.34) Vs South Africa in Johannesburg (1995)
3. Chris Tavare (England) - 35 off 240 balls (14.58) Vs India in Chennai (1982)
4. AB de Villiers (South Africa) - 33 off 220 balls (15.00) Vs Australia in Adelaide (2012)
5. Younis Ahmed (Pakistan) - 34 not out off 226 balls (15.04) Vs India in Ahmedabad (1987)