South African cricket commentator Robin Jackman described Hashim Amla as a Rolls Royce, which was a precise description as the right-hander motored along to his hundred without making any noise. In the process, Amla became the fastest batsman to surpass 4,000 ODI runs (81 innings) and replaced West Indian batting legend Viv Richards (88 innings) at the top of this list. Amla's appetite for big scores and doing so consistently is evident in the fact that he was the fastest to 2000 and 3000-run mark in ODIs. (Durban ODI pics)
Amla's knock of 100 from 117 deliveries came after India won the toss and asked South Africa to bat. Having missed out on reaching triple figures in Johannesburg, Amla did well to get it this time, recording his 12th ODI ton, his second against India. Amla did not just score a ton but also played the role of an able ally to the young Quinton de Kock, who went on to score his second consecutive ton. (2nd ODI highlights)
The duo's 194-run partnership not only help setup South Africa's 134-run win over at Durban but also became the highest opening stand for the hosts against India at home in ODIs, beating the previous best held by Graeme Smith and AB de Villiers. (Quinton de Kock and more stats)
Amla had to overcome a bit of a struggle at the start of the innings, edging a few deliveries and getting thoroughly beaten on a couple. But, given his temperament and monk-like patience, Amla managed to see off the early phase to settle down.
Even as the middle-order collapsed towards the end, South Africa came away with a decent total, thanks to Amla and De Kock's effort at the start of the innings. This century also helps Amla join the list of two other South Africans - Jacques Kallis and de Kock - to score a ton against India in Kingsmead. (Read: MS Dhoni blames poor shot selection for Durban loss)
With one more ODI and a two-match Test series to follow, an in-form Amla will be a big headache for the visitors. As far as AB de Villiers is concerned, there perhaps could not have been a better time for Amla to be among the runs.