Nagpur:Hashim Amla, the lone player of Indian origin in the touring South African squad, feels the biggest challenge thats awaits him in the Test series against India starting here on Saturday will be to tackle the reverse swing and turning ball.
"In South Africa where it (wicket) does favour the seam bowlers a lot more there's more tendency of losing a wicket early on than in the subcontinent. When we played in Chennai (venue of first Test in 2008) I came in to bat quite late after the openers had done a good job.
"I think these days in the subcontinent you will be coming in a bit later to bat when the ball is reverse swinging. To adjust to that is a challenge and it is something I'm looking forward to," the 26-year-old Durban-born Amla told reporters here.
"You don't get that often in South Africa and this is a challenge but I'm banking on my experience of the last three years, facing the spinners coming in (to bat) and the ball is turning, having to play that kind of game. You have to adapt to it," he added.
Amla, who has played 41 Tests and scored over 2700 runs, did not agree to the view that players of Asian-origin, who were brought up outside the sub-continent, can play spin well.
"I am brought up in South Africa where we hardly play spinners. Only over the last five or six years there's a bigger emphasis on spin in South Africa because we have been traveling to subcontinent a lot more.
"But there's no doubt that Indian players, Sri Lankans and Pakistanis are better players of spin. That is because they play spin a bit more naturally," Amla elaborated.
Amla hoped his successful last tour of India, when he scored 307 runs at an average of over 61, would stand him in good stead in the series starting from Saturday.
"I got some runs last time. I will try to improve and capitalise on that experience. Playing here calls for different skills. Seam bowlers have to use different skills and spinners come into play a lot more," he said.
He said he had not changed his batting style drastically after being in and out of the national side.
"When I first started people in South Africa criticised my technique. I have not really changed too much, may be a few things here and there but nothing drastic. When you are playing at the highest level of the game, which is Test cricket, the more you play the more comfortable you feel. If you get a few good scores under your belt then it increases your confidence. I have not changed too much, but has kept things as simple as possible," he said.
He admitted that the use of technology has worked wonders for him but also gave credit to his coaches.
"In these days it's hard not to get help from technology, taking notes and watching yourself bat and watching opposition players. I have certain coaches I have trust in," Amla said.
Asked whether he desires to lead South Africa one day, Amla, who has played four Tests in India and scored 333 runs at just under 48, said "I haven't given any thought (to captaincy) really. The last few years my focus has been to try and establish myself in the side as a regular player.
"I did captain four years ago my state team but stepped down to concentrate on getting back into the national team."
"Currently we have Graeme (Smith) who has been an awesome captain. As a batsman we know what a fantastic player he's. As a captain he's been brilliant and has so much instinct for the game," he said.
Amla also said that he was in favour of the much-debated Decision Review System which will not be used in this series.
"I like it for the mere fact that it takes away the really questionable decision, tough decision you get as a batsmen. If it takes that away then it's good. Everybody has his own opinion. Some guys like it some don't," he said.
"Even with it (in place) certain decisions don't go your way. There's still that element of fortune in it. It was used against England (in SA's last series at home). Sometimes it went for us. Sometimes it went against," he explained.