Jacques Kallis Biography
Jacques Kallis is a marvel of the modern game, a colossus whose influence is felt across every facet of cricket.
He was one of the greatest Test batsmen of his era — a period that saw Sachin Tendulkar, Brian Lara and Ricky Ponting. In 2001-02, he batted 1,241 minutes between dismissals in Tests, amounting to 456 runs across four innings. Two years later, he scored 158, 177, 130 not out, 130 not out and 150 not out in five successive Tests.
Yet, bowling is by no means a minor arrow in his quiver, but a weapon always potent and sometimes destructive. In between the marathon batting feats, he captured six for 53 to vanquish England at Headingley in 2003. At Cape Town in 1998-99, he was at his versatile best, scoring 110 and 88 and capturing two for 34 and five for 90. He thus became only the second South African, after the great Aubrey Faulkner, to score a century and a fifty as well as claim five wickets in an innings in the same Test match.
In the slips, he is safe as a bank, and often flies through the air swooping up travelling balls with ridiculous ease. There is only one genius in history that merits comparison — Garry Sobers; and although the old timers point at the versatility of the West Indian legend, Kallis got most of his runs batting higher up the order — as befits the best batsman of the side.
Kallis’s batting is rooted to the copybook principles, the lack of expression on his face matching the orthodoxy of his technique. With the ball, he is generally used as a support bowler, but can be fast, disconcertingly so, with the ability to swing the ball a long way — and has been compared to Alec Bedser. The absence of frills has raised occasional accusations of slow batting, but he can hit the ball hard and has the fastest 50 in Test cricket under his belt. Later in his career, he evolved his game sufficiently to flourish in the Indian Premier League.
Kallis continues in his multiple roles through the ability to manage the rigours of body and mind. He tends to switch off between deliveries to remain fresh and focused, regulates his training assiduously, keeping sessions intensive and short. Having retired from Tests, he aims to play till the 2015 World Cup — and there is no reason why he should not.