How much are Hashim Amla and JP Duminy worth to South Africa’s one-day cause?
It’s an unanswerable question‚ up there with how long a piece of string might be.
But we should have some idea after the three ODIs South Africa will play in Australia next month — which Amla and Duminy will miss because of injury.
Amla’s reassuring calm and Duminy’s allround zest are impossible to measure‚ what with conditions‚ opposition strengths and their own form and differing roles only some of the vexing variables.
But the stats of the matter‚ inadequate as they are‚ give us some idea of how much the two players have meant to the side over the years.
Duminy made his ODI debut on August 30 2004 and Amla on March 9 2008‚ and since they’ve both been in the mix South Africa have played 196 games.
Amla has featured in 169 of them and Duminy in 167‚ and they’ve been in the same XI 144 times.
That means they’ve played together in almost three-quarters — 73.47% — of all South Africa’s ODIs since Amla’s arrival.
South Africa have scored 48 515 runs since and including Amla’s debut‚ 12 143 of them off the bats of Amla and Duminy.
That’s a smidgen more than a quarter: 25.01%.
Victory has been achieved 89 times when Amla and Duminy are in the mix‚ a success rate of 61.81%. South Africa’s overall winning percentage is 61.64.
Twenty-four of the 26 games in which Amla has scored a century have been won‚ which goes for each time Duminy has made his four tons.
A dozen completed Amla innings have passed since he raised his bat to celebrate a century‚ and 42 in Duminy’s case.
But Amla is 35 and Duminy a year younger‚ so both are in the autumn of careers that look like ending at the 2019 World Cup.
Amla will be remembered as a wonderfully unorthodox player who spent most of his time in a South Africa shirt of whatever flavour at the top of the world game‚ challenging all sorts of stereotypes along the way‚ and Duminy as someone who achieved too much too soon and didn’t make the most of his glittering gifts.
They’ll be missing in action in Australia next month‚ and also missed.
But not forgotten.