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By Chetan Narula
Durban: Dec 30, 2013
South Africa captain Graeme Smith said that the series-clinching win over India in the second and final Test here was a fitting tribute to “irreplaceable” team-mate Jacques Kallis who bid farewell to Test cricket.
“We wanted to win it for Jacques. Ultimately, we wanted to make sure that his farewell is a fitting tribute to him. The pitch made it a little difficult, and certainly we had to work hard, considering that we lost so much time in the Test,” Smith said at the press conference after South Africa beat India by 10-wickets on the fifth and final day to clinch the two-match series 1-0.
“India too played well on a good day one wicket, they were 180-odd for one. The way we turned it around from that point is a huge achievement for us. The kind of performance the team has put together over a period of time, and conducted itself tell a lot and does not require me to tell anything more,” he said.
Smith said his team will never be able find a replacement for Kallis.
“I think we are never going to replace Jacques. He’s worth more than 13,000 runs, nearly 300 wickets and 200 catches. He’s a top class personality and the experience he brings to the side is irreplaceable. The way forward is to get tactically smart in the next Test match,” said the Protea captain.
“AB [de Villiers] offers us an all-rounder’s option, keeping wickets. So it’s an opportunity to look at an extra batter or bowler depending on conditions, and those decisions we can make going forward.
“But I think anyone who gets picked up for the next Test shouldn’t feel the pressure, and it’s an opportunity for someone else to start a career. Kallis’ career is huge, and it’s important that the next guy gets a fresh start,” he added, shedding light on South Africa’s future plans.
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