Zondi picked Hamza with an eye to Proteas’ seniors near retirement

The decline Zondi referred to was the comparison in Hamza’s Four-Day Franchise series statistics in the past two seasons.

Last season‚ the 23-year-old Hamza was the fourth-highest run-getter with 828 runs at 69‚ with three hundreds and four 50s.

When he opened the batting for SA ‘A’ against Australia’s crack Test bowling attack of Mitchell Starc‚ Josh Hazlewood‚ Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon in Benoni last year‚ he acquitted himself well with scores of 44 and 28.

This season‚ he’s 20th on the Four-Day Franchise series run-scoring list with 255 runs at 31.87‚ with two 50s.

In the most recent SA ‘A’ India tour in the two First-Class matches‚ he was tied fourth with Prithvi Shaw with 156 runs at 52.

Shaw has already gone on to play Test cricket for India and if it wasn’t for an ankle injury would have featured in the ongoing first Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy between Australia and India at the Adelaide Oval.

Hanuma Vihari is another player from the India ‘A’ side who graduated to Test cricket last year.

Rudi Second was the top run-scorer for SA ‘A’ in the two unofficial Tests but being a wicketkeeper‚ his path is blocked by Quinton de Kock.

Hamza’s Cobras teammate Pieter Malan could consider himself unlucky having been a consistent run-scorer‚ with the same applying for current Four-Day Franchise series top-run-scorer Pite van Biljon (574 runs at 63.77). Malan’s hot on his heels with 492 runs at 54.66.

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