Talk about cricket or South African sporting greats and you must talk about Jacques Kallis. He went down the books of history as a legend cricketer. Between 2001 and 2002, Kallis batted 1,241 minutes between dismissals in Tests that added up to an impressive 456 runs across four innings. Two years after achieving this feat, he put another feather in his cap by scoring 158, 177, 130 not out, 130 not out and 150 not out in five consecutive Tests.
Additionally, Kallis captured six for 53 to defeat England at the game played in Headingley in 2003. Before that, he scored 110 and 88 and captured two for 34 and five for 90 in Cape Town. He became the second South African to score a century and a fifty and also to claim five wickets in an inning at one Test match. Only Aubrey Faulkner, another cricket great, had ever achieved this.
It’s a wicket that goes around a bit and then becomes a good batting wicket.
When it comes to slips, Kallis often dove into the air to catch balls and make it look ridiculously easy. The way he did it can be compared to only one other player; Gary Sobers who was a West Indies cricket legend. Sobers was known for his versatility while Kallis caught a lot of his runs batting higher up the order.
Apart from prowess, Kallis was also noted for the lack of expression on his face as he batted. It is said this came from copybook principles which his batting is rooted in. He was generally given the position of a support bowler with the ball but he could he surprisingly fast with it and he sure could swing the ball a long way. In this regard, he has been likened to Alec Bedser.
The no-frills way Kallis handled the way led to allegations of slow batting but those were quashed by how hard he could sometimes hit the ball and the fact that he had the fastest 50 in Test cricket cap tucked neatly in his full cap of cricket achievements. As his career progressed, it became clear that Kallis had developed the skills to ably take on the Indian Premier League.
Asked how he remained at the top his game, he said he totally switched off between deliveries so that he could remain focused when he stepped onto the field. He also kept to a rigorous training program with sessions that were short but intense. Every analysts and bookmakers were optimistic about his training, and many people placed bets on him for the next season, for example using Betfred promo code or in betting shops.
Kallis retired from Tests in 2013 and then from ODIs in 2014. Play hard without crossing boundaries, is how Kallis said he approached games when he spoke on the day he played his last game. Being able to go out for a beer with the other team is a sign that you did, he added.
On the day he played his last game, Kallis’ friends went all out to make the day special. His teammates surprised him with commemorative T-shirts. They also carried him shoulder high to take him around Kingsmead for the last time as he carried a South African flag and waved to a cheering crowd.
His parting shot to young players :
Really enjoy your career. Enjoy what it offers you, the countries you tour, try and take in the cultures. It’s given me experiences I would never have had. I’ve met many people I probably wouldn’t have.