Home > Features >

Jacques Kallis retires from international cricket: The last great pace bowling all-rounder

Jacques Kallis took more than 500 wickets in all forms of cricket © Getty Images

With Jacques Kallis announcing his retirement from all forms of the game, the world bids adieu to the last great all-rounder of the game. In an era grossly lacking in genuine pace-bowling all-rounders, Kallis proved himself repeatedly as one of the all-time greats. Shiamak Unwalla looks at the man who could walk into any side of any era.

Truly great pace-bowling all-rounders have been seen in the yesteryears of cricket. There were fast bowlers who who could blow apart a bowling attack with willow in hand. There were batsmen who could run through batting line-ups with the ball. WG Grace, Garry Sobers, Ian Botham, Richard Hadlee, Imran Khan, Clive Rice, Kapil Dev; these were players who are known even now as the pantheon of all-round greats.

And then there is Jacques Kallis. A man who hailed from the country of men like from Graeme Pollock, Allan Donald, Shaun Pollock, Graeme Smith, Dale Steyn, AB de Villiers, and others, and still might well be their greatest player of all time. The man is arguably the only great pace bowling all-rounder in modern times.

There have been other quick-bowling all-rounders who were his contemporaries; Andrew Flintoff had his moments of glory, but  didn’t last for half as long as Kallis. Lance Klusener was always a danger, but was known as more of a One-Day International (ODI) specialist. Steve Waugh was a handful, but not always threatening with the ball. Irfan Pathan briefly threatened,but faded away to obscurity. Shane Watson is belligerent, but has a long way to go before he can be called great.

Watson’s bowling too has taken a back seat with persisting injuries not aiding his cause. Kallis was perhaps the only one who could walk into any side on the basis of either his batting or his bowling — he wasn’t too shabby in the slips either — in all three formats of the game. There was a lot of talk of course, as is the case with more successful Test cricketers, about how his batting was cut-out only for Tests. He was not supposed to be a successful batter in limited overs cricket. He was absolutely not supposed to thrive in T20 cricket.

And yet, whether with bat or ball, whether in T20 or Tests, Kallis flourished. That he can be compared against the likes of Ricky Ponting and Rahul Dravid with the bat while also proving himself a more successful bowler across formats than the likes of Imran Khan and Ian Botham shows just how much class Kallis possesses. The world has seen Kallis play for the last time. And the world is infinitely poorer for it.

Catch all stories related to Jacques Kallis’s retirement here

(Shiamak Unwalla is a reporter with Cricket Country. He is a self-confessed Sci-Fi geek and Cricket fanatic who likes to pass his free time by reading books, watching TV shows, and eating food. Sometimes all at the same time. You can follow him on twitter at @ShiamakUnwalla)

India tour of Australia 2014, Practice matches

Nov 24, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Glenelg, Adelaide

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 24, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Colombo

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Sharjah

England tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Colombo

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (12:00 IST)   at Dhaka


Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 23, 2014  at Chittagong

Bangladesh won by 68 runs

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 23, 2014  at Sydney

Australia won by 2 wickets (D/L method)

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 22, 2014  at Dambulla

Match abandoned without a ball being bowled

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 21, 2014  at Dambulla

Match abandoned without a ball being bowled

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 21, 2014  at Chittagong

Bangladesh won by 87 runs


Australia vs South Africa, 3rd ODI at Canberra


SL vs Eng: Buttler practices wicketkeeping in nets

Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe 2014, 2nd ODI at Chittagong: Highlights

Australia vs South Africa 2014, 5th ODI at Sydney: Highlights

Quinton de Kock’s century in vain as Australia register two wicket win over South Africa

Saeed Ajmal: 99 per cent bowlers will fail 15 degree test

Tamim Iqbal, Anamul Haque register second-highest opening partnership for Bangladesh in ODIs

Australia Australia vs South Africa Australia vs South Africa 2014 Bangladesh Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe 2014 India New Zealand Pakistan South Africa South Africa tour of Australia 2014 South Africa vs Australia South Africa vs Australia 2014 Zimbabwe Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh 2014 Zimbabwe vs Bangladesh Zimbabwe vs Bangladesh 2014

Virat Kohli: I’m always focussed and very competitive

Cheteshwar Pujara: I’m well prepared for Australia tour

Ravi Shastri, Duncan Fletcher miss India’s first tour game in Australia

Indians vs Cricket Australia XI, 1st tour game: Aussies fumble to 159/7 at tea

IPL 2013 spot-fixing and betting scandal: Supreme Court hearing on Mudgal panel to resume today

Myth Busting — did Sachin Tendulkar’s rate of scoring become slower in the second half of his career?

Single-wicket cricket match between John Grange and James Sadler lasts three days

Bill Ashdown and Bert Wensley beat a team of 11 all by themselves

Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina in interesting tussle ahead of India’s Test series against Australia

Vijay Hazare Trophy 2014-15: Robin Uthappa, Yuvraj Singh, Manish Pandey will get another chance to impress in final

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

681 Posts | 6 Fans

Video Highlights: Virat Kohli vs Australian cricketers

Watch Free Live Streaming & Telecast of Indian Super League (ISL) 2014 Football 37th Match between Kerala Blasters FC vs Atletico de Kolkata

PK Tharki Chokro making: Rancho aka Aamir Khan and Munna Bhai aka Sanjay Dutt shake legs to this folk number

Simbu-Hansika’s Vaalu slated for Christmas release!

Yeh Hai Mohabbatein: Will Raman and Ishita help Mihika with her plans?

Alibaba to launch its Taobao marketplace in international markets: Reuters

8 reasons to add rosemary to your diet

eBay India ‘Black Friday’ sale kicks off today

How many calories do bananas have?

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here