‘Still ca­pa­ble’ Gibbs slams Kal­lis for choos­ing when to play

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT -

FOR­MER Proteas bats­man Her­schelle Gibbs says he is dis­ap­pointed with the way Jac­ques Kal­lis picks and chooses when he plays for the na­tional team.

“There is no one big­ger than any team or big­ger than the sport,” Gibbs said at the Gary Player In­vi­ta­tional golf event at Sun City yes­ter­day.

“You can’t de­ter­mine when you want to play and when you don’t want to play. You’ve got to keep on play­ing.”

Kal­lis last played one-day in­ter­na­tional (ODI) cricket at the be­gin­ning of 2012, when he de­cided to con­cen­trate his ef­forts in the Test arena. How­ever, he was al­ways avail­able for the ex­tremely lu­cra­tive In­dian Pre­mier League’s 20over com­pe­ti­tion.

Af­ter South Africa’s dis­as­trous 4-1 ODI-se­ries loss to Sri Lanka in July, and with the 2015 World Cup loom­ing, Kal­lis has since changed his mind and made him­self avail­able for se­lec­tion again.

Gibbs – whose crown­ing glory was a match- win­ning in­nings of 175 in the Proteas leg­endary “438” game against Aus­tralia at the Wan­der­ers in 2006 – said he was sur­prised at the at­ti­tude of his for­mer team­mate.

“If you look at Ricky Ponting’s record, he scored hun­dreds in abun­dance in Tests and ODIs,” Gibbs said.

“I think it would be un­fair for the team to then say ‘ Jac­ques can say when he wants to play’.”

Gibbs said the re­spon­si­bil­ity was on man­age­ment to han­dle the sit­u­a­tion dif­fer­ently.

“I’ve got to look at the coach and the se­lec­tors and ask how can they al­low that to hap­pen.”

Gibbs, 39, did not re­tire but fell out of favour with the se­lec­tors in 2010 and be­lieved he could have still made a con­tri­bu­tion to South African cricket.

“I’d still like to play for South Africa, but with just over a month away from In­dia ar­riv­ing, it doesn’t look like it will un­fold.

“I am hit­ting the ripe old age of 40 next year. I can imag­ine a lot of teams think­ing I don’t have much to of­fer any­more. That’s their opin­ion – I know what I can of­fer and what I’m ca­pa­ble of at the age of 39.”

Mov­ing for­ward, the 90-Test and 248-ODI vet­eran said the Proteas’ bat­ting line-up would need some work if they were to com­pete for top hon­ours at the next World Cup in Aus­tralia and New Zealand.

“The bowl­ing line-up – spin and seam – takes care of it­self. We’ve de­vel­oped enough bowlers over the last two or three years. They can all hold their own. They’ve had enough chances to prove them­selves in the ODI set-up.

“The top six (bats­men) is prob­a­bly the most im­por­tant thing we’ll have to work on. There are maybe 25 to 30 ODIs be­fore the next World Cup, and that is a con­cern for me.”

Gibbs high­lighted the per­for­mance of wick­et­keeper- bats­man Quin­ton de Kock, who made his ODI de­but for the Proteas in Jan­uary this year against New Zealand.

“I know Quin­ton de Kock has all the tal­ent and tem­per­a­ment, and he’s got time to de­velop,” Gibbs said of the 20year-old.

“He has a few tech­ni­cal er­rors, but when it comes to the ODIs, he has a bright fu­ture ahead of him.

“He will prob­a­bly have about 25 to 30 ODIs be­fore the next World Cup. It’s a great time to blood some­one like him. He’ll play in a few dif­fer­ent (sets of) con­di­tions.” – Sapa


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