In an age when the likes of Smith, Kohli, Root and Williamson are considered the world’s premier batsmen, Australia spinner Nathan Lyon says it’s a 34-year-old veteran who is the "best going around".
Off the back of scores of 78 and 87 against England in the second Test at Trent Bridge, elegant No.3 Hashim Amla proved age is just a number and that class is permanent as the Proteas thrashed Joe Root’s side by 340 runs to level the four-match series at 1-all.
Amla’s masterclass was not lost on Lyon, who watched the exhibition on the other side of the planet in Australia.
"He’s just so composed, nothing gets to him," Lyon said on The Unplayable Podcast when asked what makes Amla so difficult to bowl to.
"He knows his game inside out, he knows the shots he wants to play and the timing of them.
"He’s just a world-class batter and the best going around I reckon."
When asked where Amla ranks in the finest batsmen Lyon has encountered, the Australian said: "He’s definitely up there, in the top five. I’ve got high praise for Hashim."
The lissom offie has encountered Amla 11 times in Test cricket and has dismissed him just once – Adelaide, 2012 – and he hopes the languid right-hander’s purple patch ends before Australia arrive in South Africa for four Tests in early 2018.
"Personally, he’s one of the hardest guys to bowl to," Lyon said.
"It’s always been a privilege to play against him, that’s for sure.
"He’s always one guy you look at and go ‘I would really like that wicket’.
"He’s definitely a world-class batter and he’s piling on the runs at the moment.
"Hopefully he can keep doing that against the English and come February hopefully he runs out."