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Jacques Kallis

Jacques Kallis

Jacques Kallis is a marvel of the modern game, a colossus whose influence is felt across every facet of cricket. No other player has fused batting and bowling ability and consistently performed for a decade and a half stretch in multiple forms of the game as Kallis has. Once in, he is one of the most difficult batsman to dislodge in World Cricket and has often buried the opposition into dust with his stoic approach at the crease.

Kallis is one of the greatest all-rounders the game has ever seen and is arguably the greatest all-rounder of the modern era, after the likes of Kapil Dev and Ian Botham. Kallis is a fine, forceful batsman who has at his disposal both a rock-solid technique and mind impervious to distraction. He is the only cricketer in the history of the game to have more than 12,000 runs and get 250 wickets in both forms of the game.

Born of October 16, 1975, Jacques Kallis, made his debut for the national team in 1995 against England and in only his seventh Test, he produced a match-saving hundred against Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Not even Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne could dislodge him before he had all but saved the match for South Africa.

Yet, bowling is by no means a minor arrow in his quiver, but a weapon always potent and sometimes destructive. He is generally used as a support bowler, but can be fast, with the ability to swing the ball a long way. In 1998, he led South Africa to the ICC Champions Trophy title with two ‘Man of the Match’ and the ‘Player of the Series’ performances. He was the world’s number one ranked Test all-rounder in 2001, having held the same ranking in ODIs for 3 years.

In the slip, he is safe as a bank, and often flies through the air swooping up travelling balls with ridiculous ease. He is considered to be a partnership breaker and often the ball has been thrown to him to produce the vital breakthrough.

Kallis is one of four players in Test history to make a century in five consecutive matches. Technically sound and string off either foot, he can play practically every shot in the book, though his cover drives are his best. Kallis has a remarkable batting average in the mid-50s, and has been consistently rated as one of the best batsman in the world.

In January 2012, Kallis scored his highest score in Test – 224 against Sri Lanka. In the 2007 World Cup Kallis was South Africa’s leading run-scorer and was, however, criticized in the press for some slow performances which cost South Africa momentum at key stages in the Tournament.

In domestic cricket he has represented the Cape Cobras in South Africa, the Glamorgan Dragons and Middlesex Panthers in the English domestic circuit as well as the Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

With a burning desire to be a part of a World Cup winning South African side, Kallis requested the team management to allow him to skip the sorter format of the game, with a view to maintain himself ahead of the 2015 World Cup. He announced his retirement from Test cricket at the end of the Boxing Day Test against India in December 2013.

Kallis finished his Test career with 13,289 runs at an average of 55.37, and took 292 wickets, lies third behind the Indian player Sachin Tendulkar and Australian Ricky Ponting on the list of all-time run scorers in Test cricket. Kallis made his ODI debut Against England on January 9, 1996. Kallis’ ODI career included 328 games from 1996 to 2014. In 328 ODIs Kallis made 11,579 runs at an average of 44.36, and also took 373 wickets with 5/30 as his best ODI figure.

With 45 Test hundreds, Kallis is the second-highest scorer of Test centuries, behind only Sachin Tendulkar’s 51. Kallis was also named as one of the Wisden cricketers of the year in 2013. What makes Jacques Kallis a legend of the game is that he has been very consistent throughout his career, and has carried the team on his shoulders many times in his glittering career.