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Amla not fazed by target on his back

AAP logoAAP 31/10/2016 Justin Chadwick

South Africa batsman Hashim Amla has laughed off suggestions the Proteas will crumble if both he and Faf du Plessis fail to fire during the upcoming three-Test series against Australia.

With captain AB de Villiers set to miss the entire series with an elbow injury, Australian pace duo Josh Hazlewood and Peter Siddle believe the Proteas' inexperienced battling line-up is vulnerable.

South Africa haven't lost a Test series in Australia since 2005/06, and their chances of extending that golden run will rest heavily on the performances of Amla and du Plessis.

But Amla has full confidence in the depth of South Africa's batting line-up, despite the team's record of only winning three of their past 13 Tests.

Australia will target Amla and du Plessis in a bid to rattle the South Africans.

But Amla laughed off the importance of that battle when asked about it on Monday.

"Before every series, there's always the same questions," Amla said ahead of the first Test, starting at the WACA Ground on Thursday..

"We got asked about Dave Warner and Steve Smith. So there's always going to be two guys you're asked about in the opposition.

"I don't look too much into it, because I know in our batting order we've got guys who can make impacts at any stage of the game, and that's a really wonderful thing to have in the team.

"Over the last six or seven years - the success we've had away from home, you don't get that success with only one guy doing well."

Amla has fond memories of the WACA Ground.

The 33-year-old was part of the team that posted 4-414 in their second innings to snare victory in Perth in 2008.

It remains the second highest successful run chase in Test history.

And four years ago, Amla was part of the South African team that ruined Ricky Ponting's farewell match with a 309-run win in the series-deciding clash at the WACA.

Despite those positive experiences, he said both teams would enter this week's Test with a clean slate.

"For me those things were four years ago, and eight years ago - really far in the past," Amla said.

"You take the experience from it and the memories. But the game's played on day one, two, three, four, and five. That's where the cricket is. It's not eight years ago."

Amla heaped particular praise on pace ace Dale Steyn, who is just six wickets away from overhauling Shaun Pollock's South African record of 421.

"It's a phenomenal thing to think about," Amla said.

"The guy's in probably the top 10, if not top five best bowlers in the history of the game.

"For him to get the accolade - whenever he does - it will be a really special moment for all of us."

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