Champions Trophy: Alastair Cook is wary of the threat of South Africa batsman Hashim Amla

Last Updated: 19/06/13 10:15am

  • Share:
Hashim Amla: Scored triple hundred against England at the Oval last summer

Hashim Amla: Scored triple hundred against England at the Oval last summer

Sky Bet

Alastair Cook has identified Hashim Amla as the main threat to England's chances of reaching the ICC Champions Trophy final.

Amla will open South Africa's innings alongside Colin Ingram in the first of the two semi-finals at The Oval on Wednesday.

The England skipper is all too aware of the right-hander's abilities, having watched him compile an unbeaten 311 during the tourists' victory in the first Test on the same ground last summer.

Amla failed to build on starts in the matches against India and the West Indies but he top scored with 81 to set up a 67-run victory over Pakistan in the Proteas' other Group B match.

"He's a massive player for them. He's a danger man and he's one of their key players," said Cook.

"We have to strike early, if he gets in he's a danger to us but if we can get him out that puts pressure on the other players in their set-up."

Cook also dismissed suggestions that his side were under increased pressure to perform in front of their own fans.

"It's whichever side handles the pressure well tomorrow. People in that side, in your own side, have to stand up and deliver and that's what you have to do," he said.

"We have amazing support at home. We're used to playing in front of these big crowds and we wouldn't swap the support we've had in this tournament or the support we have at home or abroad with anyone. I don't see it at all as a hindrance."

Cook also revealed England will not risk spin bowler Graeme Swann for the game if they are not 100 per cent sure of his fitness.

"We haven't ruled him out totally. We will have to see how he trains today and pulls up tomorrow," Cook said.

"There is one thing for certain - he won't be risked. Tredders (James Tredwell) is an exceptional bowler so we might be cautious with him and be sensible."

  • Share:

Post Comment

*All fields required, your email address will be kept private


ICC Champions Trophy 2013

Dhoni: the India skipper cuts an impressive figure, says Bob

Bowled over

India's batsmen have run riot so far, but Bob Willis says it won't be so easy against England's attack.

Jonathan Trott: Happy to be at home

Trott happy at home

Jonathan Trott will be a happy man when he walks out on his home turf at Edgbaston in the Champions Trophy final.

Ishant Sharma: High praise for India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni

Ishant hails Dhoni leadership

Ishant Sharma says Mahendra Singh Dhoni should take the credit for steering India to the final of the Champions Trophy.

Most Popular


NFC predictions

NFC predictions

Richard Graves breaks down the weekend action from the NFL's National Football Conference.

Tyler's Xmas stats

Tyler's Xmas stats

Martin Tyler brings you the most interesting Christmas Day and Boxing Day facts from over the years.

My Special Day Revisited

My Special Day Revisited

This Christmas, Sky Sports News HQ will revisit some of the youngsters who met their sporting idols.