Zubayr Hamza likes the looks of his new surroundings in the Proteas set-up

09 January 2019 - 15:37 By Mahlatse Mphahlele
Proteas top order batsaman Zubayr Hamza.
Proteas top order batsaman Zubayr Hamza.
Image: Mahlatse Mphahlele

Top order batsman Zubayr Hamza has spent the past few weeks absorbing information like a sponge as he familiarises himself with his new surroundings in the Proteas set-up.

The 23-year old Cobras batter is expected to make his Test debut in the third and final match against Pakistan at the Wanderers on Friday and if he is given the opportunity‚ Hamza wants to combine the information he has gathered with his personal touch to make an impression.

“I have learned a lot from each and every individual in the team both on and off the field.

"But I would like to stay true to myself by doing the things that I have done to get to this position‚” he said at Wanderers on Wednesday afternoon as he faced the media as an international player for the first time.

“I have tucked under the wings of a few players just leaching as much information as I can with regards to what to what it takes to perform at this level.

"I have combined everything but I will add my own mixture and hopefully I will perform if I get the opportunity to play.

“I don’t want to single out individual players because it has been the majority of them.

"It has not been only the batsmen‚ I have also been speaking to bowlers about their game plans and how they get the batsmen out.

"Batting wise it has been the captain Faf (Du Plessis)‚ Dean (Elgar)‚ Hash (Amla) and I have also spoken quite a lot with Aiden (Markram) as well as Temba (Bavuma).

"Growing up I looked up to guys like Jacques Kallis‚ AB de Villiers‚ Hash and some of the guys who are in the squad and are close to my age like Aiden."

The official announcement has not been made as to whether Hamza will play in the Bullring dead rubber but indications are that he could make his debut as replacement for suspended captain Faf du Plessis.

“I am not sure if I will be playing because it has not been announced but if given a chance I will grab the opportunity with both hands.

"I have enjoyed my time here so far.

"Training has been intense and I have felt comfortable in the team environment.

"There is a lot of excitement but I am nervous at the same time‚” he said.

In the two wins over Pakistan in Centurion and Newlands‚ Du Plessis came in at number five after Dean Elgar‚ Aiden Markram‚ Hashim Amla and Theunis de Bruyn.

Hamza said he would be happy to bat anywhere in the top order.

“I prefer to bat anywhere in the top order‚” he said with the calmness of a seasoned campaigner.

Hamza added that he can adjust his batting style to suit the game and conditions.

“At times I am free flowing but at times I have the ability to craft.

"I am not always looking to be stylish‚ I pride myself on innings where there is always a struggle.

"In terms of what I can bring to the team‚ it is the willingness to battle.”

Meanwhile‚ Pakistan opener Imam-ul-Haq said they want to end the Test series on a high.

“We have lost the series and we know that‚" he said.

"But the most important thing is to be positive because the last match is important for us.

"We have to make a statement and we hope to do our best.

"We have learned a lot‚ the guys have played some good innings.

"The wicket looks like a good wicket to be honest but we have one day more and we will see how it looks on Thursday.”