India are under pressure, says Hashim Amla

Updated: Mar 11, 2011, 09:32 AM IST

Nagpur: South Africa`s opening batsman Hashim Amla said the pressure of expectation would be high on hosts India when the two teams clash in their World Cup Group B match here on Saturday.

Stating that the home team would be under pressure to live up to the expectations of their fans, Amla insisted India may find it tough to counter the Proteas in front of their home crowd.

"I think the pressure will be more on India as there will be expectations. We have played in front of a big crowd before. Fortunately, it will not be a major problem," said Amla.

"We are looking forward to the big occasion. I think our guys will enjoy playing in front of a big crowd," he added.

South Africa defeated India 3-2 in a home one-day series before the World Cup, but Amla admitted that his team must be at its best as the conditions would favour the hosts.

"India have a very good team, of course. We played them in South Africa and know what to expect. On this wicket, it will be a good challenge both for our batsmen and bowlers.”

"These are their home conditions, but at the same time we all know there is a pressure situation. There will be a lot of expectations," said Amla.

On a track expected to favour the batsmen, the currently number one ranked ODI batsman, who hit a double-century in the opening Test against India last year in South Africa`s innings victory -- sharing a stand of 340 with Jacques Kallis (173), said he would like to score big runs again.

"It is a flat wicket. I had a good time here, but Test cricket is Test cricket and one-day cricket needs different kinds of skills," said Amla.

"If I score runs again I will be very happy. I think it is a good cricketing wicket and hopefully I can get runs."

Amla, who was considered more of a Test than an ODI batsman early in his career, said he tries to keep things simple.

"I haven`t changed much. I always try to adapt and improve. I try to keep things simple," said the batsman, who scored a century against the Netherlands last week.

Amla also backed his out-of-form teammate Jacques Kallis, saying he might be saving runs for the bigger games ahead.

"I don`t think there is any concern. Jacques is a world-class player. He has been the rock of the team for the last 15 years. If he hasn`t scored it is not a concern. We all know what to expect.”

"Maybe he is saving runs for the big games. He is an excellent player and will come good," said Amla.

Kallis, the only South African to have completed 10,000 runs in both Tests and ODIs, has scored just 21 runs in three matches so far.