DP World Lions new batting coach Hashim Amla says he sees plenty of talent in the squad, but it is all-important that hard work and mental flexibility allows the execution of that talent on the field.

With 18 672 runs for South Africa across the formats in international cricket, and 55 centuries, Amla’s arrival at the DP World Wanderers Stadium is a massive coup for #ThePrideOfJozi. There are few Proteas batters who are more respected for their ability or as a person.

Waiting on Amla’s every word will be a cohort of some of the most exciting batsmen in the country. Temba Bavuma, Reeza Hendricks and Rassie van der Dussen are already Proteas stalwarts, Ryan Rickelton, Wiaan Mulder and Zubayr Hamza are looking to nail down their places in international cricket, and Josh Richards, Mitchell van Buuren and Evan Jones have been identified as potential future Proteas. And one should never forget Dominic Hendricks, a consistent run-getter who should always be in the thoughts of those choosing the national teams.

Amla has been impressed by what he has seen, but he is forthright in saying talent alone is not going to make the grade.

“Yes, there is amazing talent at the Lions and there are potential Proteas for sure. But I don’t get too excited when I see talent because that’s like candy – it’s short lived on its own. I get excited when I see someone with a strong work ethic and an adaptable mind. And the Lions squad has that because they are a winning team. All winning teams have high standards and to maintain and increase those standards takes a great deal of patience and discipline.”

As classical and elegant and as pure a strokeplayer as Amla was, he knows what it’s like to have a slightly unorthodox technique and the criticism that can attract. He also knows what it will take for his DP World Lions charges to dominate the opposition bowlers.

“I was still learning about batting even in my last few seasons as a player, so I’m sure coaching will be the same. But the previously unorthodox has become acceptable in recent times. Whilst batting does have basics and to solidify that is important, a person’s unique style is what gives them and the team longevity in their success. So I will be looking to take those unique styles, while also focusing on training method – the preparation and intensity – and help the batsmen get to the top. But success also depends on the mental fortitude and the appetite for runs that the batsmen show,” Amla said.

There can be no-one better to take an already high-performing group of DP World Lions batsmen to the next level than the great Hashim Amla.