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Thread: The Case for Kallis

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    Cricket Web Staff Member fredfertang's Avatar
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    The Case for Kallis

    The Case for Kallis

    To his devotees the greatest all-round cricketer since Sobers; to his critics a flat-track bully who fails to dominate against the best. Gareth Bland examines the extraordinary career of Jacques Kallis

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    Dan
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    I found this on Reddit, not half an hour ago.

    Quote Originally Posted by Some random guy
    Before today, if anyone told me Kallis is underrated, I would have laughed. When talking about great batsmen of the modern era, he's discussed alongside Tendulkar, Lara, Ponting and Dravid, who are some of the greatest of the modern era and some of the greatest of all time. This is clearly a great compliment to him. He is then also compared to Gary Sobers, and debates are had as to which of the two is the greatest all rounder EVER.

    To be considered a legend of the modern era, AND to be considered in the top greatest all rounders EVER, is the biggest complement the man can receive. He has nearly 12,000 runs, highest average of any current player, and nearly 300 wickets, more than any current England bowler. Despite the fact that for a few years now he's been a 5th choice bowler. And he's a top gentleman to boot. clearly not underrated.

    But something happened while I was at Lord's today which changed my mind, on an otherwise great day.

    When Petersen got out, I got excited. Kallis, my second favourite mancrush behind Dravid, was coming to the crease. A legend. Probably his last time in England. Thinking back to last year, when Tendulkar got a standing ovation every time he walked out to bat.

    As I saw the colossus emerge from the pavilion, I rose to my feet and started to clap. And continued clapping, a warm feeling in my heart for this wonderful human being. I looked round, no one else on their feet, barely anyone clapping, not even Proteas fans!

    Thank you to the Lord's crowd for putting a downer on my day. You proved to me that you perhaps know little about cricket beyond the England team, you do not appreciate greatness, and you proved that I was wrong.

    Maybe, just maybe, Kallis is underrated afterall.

    I replied with the following:

    Kallis vs Sobers is a debate that will never be settled - there's always another stat trotted out by someone to prove Kallis was a better bowler on overcast Wednesdays in England whilst suffering from the flu, and there's always another one to prove the exact opposite. What can be agreed, however, is that they're the two best batting all-rounders in history (I say batting to avoid Imran Khan fans and my personal man-crush on Keith Miller from coming in to things).

    Kallis holds his own with the best of the best in this era - however he's underrated because nothing he does stands out. He works hard, makes runs, takes wickets and fields well, however he never had the extreme beauty of a Lara, the sheer following and weight of runs of a Tendulkar, the devastation of a Ponting or the gentlemanly exterior of a Dravid. He doesn't need the reputation; he gets the job done.

    When he bowls, he was always overshadowed by a Donald, Pollock or Steyn - three quicks with every right to claim a starting XI place in any all-time XI. He doesn't have the prodigious swing of a Steyn, the raw pace of Donald, or the accuracy of a Pollock. He doesn't need the reputation; he just gets the job done.

    In the field, he never had the figure to be a Gibbs, de Villiers or Rhodes. But in the slips he had a safe pair of hands. He didn't need a reputation; he gets the job done.

    He never played the big innings until recently - he was head-and-shoulders above Mark Waugh as the bets batsman never to make a double ton (until he did, of course). He made the runs he needed to in tough situations. He wasn't exciting or fashionable, but whenever he came up against Australia, he was the batsman I feared most.

    The only thing that tarnishes his legacy is his perceived selfishness - and I'm not convinced on that. Even if there is an element there, it has been blown way out of proportion. And he wouldn't be anywhere as selfish as a Kevin Pietersen, who fans wax lyrical about due to his excitement. Sure, Kallis doesn't bat like AB de Villiers, playing reverse sweeps, scoops and belting sixes for fun. But he took to Twenty/20 cricket perfectly - he is every bit as good, if not as exciting.

    If anything, Kallis is too good to be remembered as good. His legacy is driven by raw numbers, not his look, his personality or landmark innings. He flies under the radar in an unfashionable team of showmen and personality (you see comparatively few South African fans on the internet, in my experience, and RSA has been shafted in the amount of Tests they've played in the last few years).

    He is the Garfield Sobers of this era.


    They don't call it Kallisball for nothing.


    Fantastic read; great article.
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    International Debutant Jager's Avatar
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    Great comment rvd. Got to disagree in saying that Kallis doesn't have the gentleman's exterior though, I remember him marching straight up to Kemar Roach after a ridiculously hostile spell to shake his hand - the man's all class
    Oh for a strong arm and a walking stick

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    Dan
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jager View Post
    Great comment rvd. Got to disagree in saying that Kallis doesn't have the gentleman's exterior though, I remember him marching straight up to Kemar Roach after a ridiculously hostile spell to shake his hand - the man's all class
    I don't disagree, however it is not associated with Kallis as strongly as it is with Dravid.


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    State Vice-Captain Debris's Avatar
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    I still remember Kallis' stodgy batting costing SA any chance of winning the 2007 world cup. The argument for him being better than Sobers ended there.

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    State Vice-Captain MrPrez's Avatar
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    International Regular kyear2's Avatar
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    There is no argument with him vs Sobers, but he is unquestionably the second best Batting All Rounder ever and quite possible second besr over all, with only Imran and Miller challenging for that spot. He is the fourth of fifth best batsman of his era, behind only Tendulkar, Lara, Ponting and possibly Dravid, but that one is really close and he may just be ahead. His only knock for me is his perceived selfishness with the pervelant though that he plays for Kallis rather that S.A, but for the most part he does what is required of him and does it well. A true ATG and yes, a very under rarated one.
    Aus. XI
    Simpson^ | Hayden | Bradman | Chappell^ | Ponting | Border* | Gilchrist+ | Davidson3 | Warne4^ | Lillee1 | McGrath2


    W.I. XI
    Greenidge | Hunte | Richards^ | Headley* | Lara^ | Sobers5^ | Walcott+ | Marshall1 | Ambrose2 | Holding3 | Garner4

    S.A. XI
    Richards^ | Smith*^ | Amla | Pollock | Kallis5^ | Nourse | Waite+ | Procter3 | Steyn1 | Tayfield4 | Donald2

    Eng. XI
    Hobbs | Hutton*^ | Hammond^ | Compton | Barrington | Botham5^ | Knott | Trueman1 | Laker4 | Larwood2 | Barnes3

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    Global Moderator Prince EWS's Avatar
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    The best player I've witnessed since I started following cricket seriously bar none. Absolute legend of cricket and true pioneer of kallisball.
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    Rejecting 'analysis by checklist' and 'skill absolutism' since December 2009

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    State Vice-Captain MrPrez's Avatar
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    Kallis is most certainly underrated if people rate Dravid above him.

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    Cricketer Of The Year The Sean's Avatar
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    Who is Gareth Bland and how do I subscribe to his newsletter?

    Wonderful, wonderful piece.
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    RIP Craigos

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    International Captain ankitj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prince EWS View Post
    The best player I've witnessed since I started following cricket seriously bar none. Absolute legend of cricket and true pioneer of kallisball.
    Wait, IIRC you didn't have him in your top 5 cricketers in the recent CW50 voting, but you had someone who played in his times. How come?

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    Global Moderator Prince EWS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 8ankitj View Post
    Wait, IIRC you didn't have him in your top 5 cricketers in the recent CW50 voting, but you had someone who played in his times. How come?
    Maybe - just maybe - I'm not as robotic as my reputation suggests.

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    Request Your Custom Title Now! Spikey's Avatar
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    or the programme had some mistyped code in it
    Indians can't bowl - Where has the rumour come from as I myself and many indian friends arwe competent fast bowlers ?

    With the English bid I said: Let us be brief. If you give back the Falkland Islands, which belong to us, you will get my vote. They then became sad and left

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    Virat Kohli (c) Jono's Avatar
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    Prince's grumpiness in the SA vs. Eng tour thread last night proved he wasn't a bot.

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    Eternal Optimist / Cricket Web Staff Member GIMH's Avatar
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    It also proved he was a **** though. Swings and roundabouts.
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    gimh has now surpassed richard as the greatest cw member ever imo

    RIP Craigos. A true CW legend. You will be missed.

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