Hashim Amla—at the age of 33— is still fit and has at least 2-3 years of cricket left in him. South Africa doesn’t play that much cricket like England, Australia and India do, so I doubt if he crosses 10,000+ runs in both ODI and tests. He currently has about 8000 test runs, so he might get 10,000+ runs in the longer format if he plays for another 2-3 years. It doesn’t matter how long he plays, he will always be known for the unorthodox style and class he brought into batting.
Amla is not an attacker or a powerhouse; I can’t put him in the category of someone like Warner, Sehwag, Gayle or Jayasuriya. Amla doesn’t have a conventional technique with strokes from the batting textbooks and he can never be considered a coaching manual; I can’t put him in the category of Dravid or Kallis. Amla is a fighter, but not as good as Waugh or Miandad. If his team needs, he can stonewall, but can’t perform this dauntless act as good as one of his teammates who coined this term. He captained South Africa for a handful of tests, but he concluded, he was never a captaincy material as good as the former captain — Smith. Amla is not a flat track bully; at least stats say, he can bat well in all conditions.
Amla brings calmness to the crease; his mental approach to the game of cricket can be compared to someone like Dravid or Jayawardena. He is wrist; his flicks and shots on the leg side can be compared to that of Laxman. He has flair and elegance in his batting backed up with consistency, and some of the shots he plays are his trademarks, and I believe no other batsman in the world can produce those shots with the same quality, elegance, and flair. He has batted prolifically in test matches for the last ten years, his ODI stats are as good as that of Devilliers or Kohli, or even better, but he was and perhaps will never be a T20 power-house like Gayle, Devilliers or Kohli. He has his limitations and has gone through lean patches in his career, but has always come back stronger than ever.
In one sentence, Amla is a great human being like a serene monk and is among the modern-day greats, or let’s say, he brings South African brain and subcontinental wristiness into the crease—both at the same time. He is playing his 100th test, has just become the eighth person in history to hit a hundred in his 100th test, but as his skipper worried in one of the press conferences, he could well become the last South African to achieve this illustrious feat considering the workload of the modern day South African cricketers, and some of the external factors like Kolpak deals.
Lastly, this is not written in the book of Genesis, but God once got bored watching all the batsman hitting the ball in the same direction with the same conventional style, and often with straight bats. He said – Let there be shots in the areas where the ball never flew off the bat, and he created Victor Trumper and saw the ball flying over all the corners of the field at an unimagined pace. God decided to have some swagger in the pitch and said — let there be someone with unconventional brutal force, ferocious eyesight, and ruthless elegance, and thus he created Sir Vivian Richards. God was fed up watching the double and triple tons; he decided to create someone who was unorthodox, yet dominated bowlers— especially the spinners, and most importantly played long innings without getting tired, and thus he created a man called Brian Charles Lara. God was tired watching wrist-works of batsman from Asian subcontinent that often functioned only in the subcontinental pitches and he decided to create special wrists that consistently worked well in all conditions, and possessed the South African flair, grace, and audacity along with the ferocious bat speed supported by superb eyesight and concentration, and thus created Hashim Amla — the cricketer.