Home > Features > Facts and figures >

Jacques Kallis – arguably the greatest all-rounder in the history of cricket

Jacques Kallis - arguably the greatest all-rounder in the history of cricket

With 13000 plus runs at an average of almost 57.00 in Tests and 11498 at an average of 45-plus in One-Day Internationals (ODIs) , Jacques Kallis (above) should rank alongside the best in the game © Getty Images

By Rohit Ramachandran Poduval
 
Jacques Kallis. That’s a name which every cricket team in the world would love to have in their playing eleven. Yet, it’s really surprising that despite his humungous achievements over the past decade, he is not spoken of in the same league as a Sachin Tendulkar or a Ricky Ponting. Kallis’s numbers as a batsman alone — nearly 13,000 runs at an average of almost 57.00 in Tests and 11,498 at an average of 45-plus in One-Day Internationals (ODIs) — should rank alongside the best in the game. When one adds nearly 300 wickets in both Tests and ODIs, we are now talking about one of the greatest all-rounders to have ever played the game. 
 
Kallis started as a lower middle-order batsman, who could be considered good enough to be a first-change bowler in the team. As the years went by, his skills as a batsman demanded a position in the top four. His bowling work-load reduced, but Kallis the batsman just went leaps and bounds from then on. An average of over 60 in the 100 Tests he has played at No 4 is a testament to the fact.

For most part of his career Kallis was accused of being an extremely slow batsman. However, over the last four years, he has shown a side of his game which was never seen before. This can be seen in the figures below.

  M Runs Ave SR
Overall Career 321 11498 45.26 72.97
Since 2008 52 2184 47.01 82.57

 
 
His strike-rate over the last four years in limited-over cricket is 83 as compared to an overall career strike rate of 73. Mind you, despite his aggressive stint, the average is more or less the same, which shows that he has vastly improved his game over this period. A part of the credit must go to the Indian Premier League (IPL), where he has developed his game and took it to the next level.
 
As a Test batsman, he is already the fourth-highest run scorer in the history of the game. In the process he is set to become the second-fastest batsman to score 13,000 runs in Tests.
 
There was a period in the 1980s when almost every major team had a great all-rounder. England were powered by Ian Botham, Pakistan had Imran Khan, India were served by Kapil Dev and New Zealand masterminded by Richard Hadlee. It is surprising that ever since, other than Kallis no other player has fulfilled all-round duties over a long period of time. Andrew Flintoff, Chris Cairns, Lance Klusener all had their moments in the game, but never could consistently play over a long period of time. This was mainly due to injuries as they could not sustain the vigours of both batting and bowling. Shane Watson, one of the best all-rounders currently playing the game, has had an injury-prone career. With the amount of cricket being played these days, it’s difficult to imagine an all-rounder having a long career. It is a tribute to how Kallis has maintained himself over the years and be able to contribute in both aspects of the game. Add to that a career tally of 192 Test catches, which is the third highest in Test cricket, he is definitely amongst the greatest all-rounders to have ever played the game.

How does Kallis fair in comparison to all-rounders of yesteryear?


Player M Runs Batting avg Wkts Bowling avg Difference 
(Bat. Avg – Bowl. Avg)
Jacques Kallis 159 13040 56.94 282 32.57 +24.37
Garry Sobers 93 8032 57.78 235 34.03 +23.75
Ian Botham 102 5200 33.54 383 28.40 +5.14
Imran Khan 88 3807 37.69 362 22.81 +14.88
Richard Hadlee 86 3124 27.16 431 22.29 +4.87
Kapil Dev 131 5248 31.05 434 29.64 +1.41
 

 

Jacques Kallis - arguably the greatest all-rounder in the history of cricket

With nearly 300 wickets in both Tests and ODIs, Jacques Kallis is one-man army © Getty Images

As we can see, Kallis is matched only by Sir Garry Sobers in respect to the difference in batting and bowling averages, but Kallis has played more around 60 matches more than Sobers and yet maintained his performances. His durability and consistency is something which all aspiring sportsmen should strive to achieve.
 
Tendulkar is revered as God in India and, recently, MS Dhoni considered Zaheer Khan as the Tendulkar of India’s bowling. Kallis batting has been as good as Tendulkar over the years and has nearly taken the same of amount of wickets as Zaheer as. It proves what a multi-dimensional cricketer Kallis has been.
 
A fast-bowling all-rounder is a dying breed, and with the standards set by Kallis, it is hard to imagine anyone in the near future matching his feats. At 37, there may not be a lot of­­­­­ cricket left in Kallis, but he will definitely go down as one of the greatest players to have ever played the game, if not the greatest. His exit would most certainly leave a large void in the South Africa line-up.

(Rohit Ramachandran Poduval is a classical leg-spinner, writer and software engineer)

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 20, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Kolkata

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Dubai

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (19:00 IST)   at Cuttack

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Oct 25, 2014 (09:30 IST)   at Dhaka

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 27, 2014 (03:00 IST)   at Hamilton

More

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 24, 2014  at Mount Maunganui

South Africa won by 72 runs

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 21, 2014  at Mount Maunganui

South Africa won by 6 wkts

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 17, 2014  at Dharamsala

India won by 59 runs

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 14, 2014  at Visakhapatnam

Match cancelled

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 12, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

Australia won by 1 run

Photos

Pakistan vs Australia, 1st Test at Dubai

Videos

AB de Villiers praises team after win in 1st ODI

Pakistan hold advantage at stumps on Day 3 of 1st Test against Australia

Asad Shafiq emerges as dependable No 6 for Pakistan

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Mitchell Johnson shows signs of effectiveness on unhelpful surfaces

South Africa vs New Zealand 2014: Vital for Brendon McCullum to find form quickly

Australia Australia tour of UAE 2014 Australia vs Pakistan Australia vs Pakistan 2014 Duleep Trophy India New Zealand New Zealand vs South Africa New Zealand vs South Africa 2014 Pakistan Pakistan vs Australia Pakistan vs Australia 2014 South Africa South Africa tour of New Zealand 2014 South Africa vs New Zealand South Africa vs New Zealand 2014

Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe 2014, 1st Test at Mirpur: Bangladesh aim to improve Test rank

Duleep Trophy 2014: Central Zone lead by 81 runs as North Zone bowled out for 457

Laxmi Ratan Shukla to lead Bengal in upcoming One-Day series

David Warner feels lucky to have equalled Don Bradman’s record

Kapil Dev’s Dev Musco Lighting accused of inflated costs by GCA

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Spin hunt continues for visitors

Sarfaraz Ahmed may have trumped the Akmals as Pakistan’s wicketkeeper-batsman across formats

Don Bradman — even if every chance he ever gave in his career was accepted, he would still remain head and shoulders above the others

Len Hutton’s hundred gets reported as illness

Viv Richards’ 6/41 bowls West Indies to a thrilling victory over India

Fan of the Day

Suraj Gowda

Suraj Gowda

642 Posts | 9 Fans

Virat Kohli's Family Meets Anushka Sharma

Duleep Trophy 2014: Central Zone lead by 81 runs as North Zone bowled out for 457

Farah Khan’s ‘Happy New Year’ is the Typical Over the top Masala and Action

Laxmi Ratan Shukla to lead Bengal in upcoming One-Day series

Real Madrid vs Barcelona Spanish La Liga 2014-15 Preview: Yet another Lionel Messi-Cristiano Ronaldo shootout on the cards in El Clasico

Pavitra Rishta to air its final episode tomorrow

Nokia turnaround since handset unit sale continues, reports $950 million Q3 net profit

International programme in Animal Husbandry

NGOs pursue education for all

Top Sex Positions: Frog Princess

How to make tamarind or imli packs for hair and skin

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here