Classy, elegant, clever and a true sportsman !
Only one person comes to the mind when he talk about such traits and it is none other the South African pride Jacques Kallis. He is without a shadow of a doubt one of the finest cricketer the world has seen. To many he is the only guy who has come close to matching the great Sir Gary Sobers in the list of greatest all rounder. Today Kallis celebrates his 40th birthday and which is why it is the most opportune moment to look back at his fantastic career.
Kallis remained the focal point of the South African national side for as long as 18 years. He led South Africa to many historic victories and was the man to look towards when the Proteas were going through a crisis situation especially while batting.
He is third on all time list of leading run scorers in test matches with 13000 plus runs. He averages 55.37 which is significantly better than the Great Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting and many others. He is second on the list of most test hundreds in the entire career with 45 tons. He was one of the few players that had an average of over 50 both at home and away from, in tests, which highlights his class as a player because most player find it tough to play outside home in modern day cricket. Kallis proved himself with the ball as well as he took 292 wickets including five 5 wicket hauls in test matches and some of his spells changed the course of the game such as his 6/54 vs England at Headingley, Leeds in the second innings.
Kallis was equally good as a player in ODIs as he amassed 11,579 runs and is 7th on the list of all time leading run scorers in ODIs. He has also scored 17 hundreds and 86 fifties. While in the bowling department he has taken 273 wickets as well. One of his famous innings was in the Willis International cup semifinal at Dhaka against Sri Lanka where he took his team out of trouble at 87/4 to a match winning total of 240 through an amazing 113 off 107 balls which included 5 fours and five sixes. He took the attack towards the likes of Vass and the magician Muralitharan.
He had a short T20 career but it’s safe to say that he never really got going in T20s especially considering the way his team mates like AB De Villiers and co tackled this format. Although he did maintain a more than decent average of 35 in T20s but his strike arte was usually on the lower side which is extremely vital in the shortest format of the game.
The South African player also had a safe pair of hands and hardly ever dropped a catch. He was Proteas best bet in the slip cordon for almost throughout his career. He grabbed 238 international catches in his entire international career.
Kallis is and will be remembered as one of the greatest player for times to come as he has set an extremely high standard for players to come in the future and for those currently in the mix.