Wednesday, February 21, 2024

All-round great Kallis calls time on Test career

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Durban: Jaques Kallis, one of the greatest all rounders of the game, announced his retirement from Test cricket after the Durban Test against India but will continue to play in the one-day format.
The 38-year-old Kallis had made his debut against England in December 1995 and is third big player to quit Test cricket this season after Australian Ricky Ponting and Indian batting icon Sachin Tendulkar.
Going through a lean patch of late, Kallis has featured in 165 Tests for South Africa, scoring 13,174 runs at a stunning average of 55.12. He also took 292 wickets and 199 Test catches, proving what a quality cricketer he has been for his team in the last 18 years.
With 44 hundreds under his belt, Kallis was closest to Tendulkar’s record of 51 Test centuries and the possibility of surpassing incredible figure by any batsman has diminished further.
“It wasn’t an easy decision, with Australia around the corner and the success this team is enjoying, but I feel the time is right. I don’t see it as goodbye, I still have a lot of hunger to push South Africa to that World Cup in 2015 if I am fit and performing,” Kallis said in a statement.
Kallis is currently fourth on the list of leading scorers in Tests, behind Tendulkar (15,921 runs in 200 Tests), Ricky Ponting (13,378 in 168 Tests) and Rahul Dravid (13,288 in 164 Tests).
He is the greatest all-rounder the game has seen, atleast in terms of statistics, leaving behind Sir Garfield Sobers (8,032 runs, 235 wickets, 109 catches in 93 Tests) and Sir Ian Botham (5,200 runs, 383 wickets, 120 catches in 102 Tests.)
South African coach Russell Domingo said his team would “sorely” miss the “maturity” of Kallis in the dressing room and they have a challenge to manage the legendary all-rounder in a way that he could be in peak form before the 2015 ODI World Cup.
“The impact Jacques has made on South African cricket has been immense, not just as a player but as a human being. I’m not sure we will ever see another player of that stature very soon. Jacques’ calmness, maturity and presence in the change room will sorely be missed and hopefully he will still be able to play a role in this team’s success in the near future,” Domingo said.
“He has ambitions of playing in the 2015 World Cup and it will be important for us to manage him accordingly so that he is in prime form leading into the tournament,” he said.
Haroon Lorgat, Cricket South Africa’s chief executive, was effusive in his praise for Kallis and said “it is fitting that his final Test should be on the same ground as the one on which he made his debut against England back in 1995.” (PTI)

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