The Star Late Edition

Kallis: Six of the very best, by one of the best


CAPE TOWN: Jacques Kallis is celebratin­g his 150th Test cap at Newlands. The Proteas all-rounder has produced some amazing feats over the past 17 years. We take a closer look at six of his best performanc­es. 101*: 1st Test v Australia, Melbourne, 1997

Kallis had made an inauspicio­us start to his Test career. Questions were floating around about whether the youngster from Cape Town was actually as good as the national selectors thought he was. Kallis silenced them, and more importantl­y, proved to himself that he belonged at the highest level with a courageous six-hour maiden century to save the Test match against the might of Shane Warne and the rest of the Australian bowling attack. 6/67: 3rd Test v West Indies, Bridgetown, 2001

A Test that will be remembered for the time-wasting of the West Indies in the final session of the final day, Kallis produced his best-ever Test match bowling figures. West Indies stalwarts Brian Lara and Carl Hooper had threatened to post a commanding reply with a 116-run stand, before Kallis removed them both before cleaning up the tail. 155, 101*: 1st Test v Pakistan, Karachi, 2007

A decade on, and Kallis was a much-respected batsman on the internatio­nal arena. Bowlers knew they had to work extra hard to dismiss the Wall from Wynberg. And it was in this Test match that Kallis was at his vintage best. The surface at the National Stadium was well grassed, but Kallis produced a broad, mostly defensive, bat to frustrate the Pakistani bowlers. His first innings 155 came off 249 balls, while his second innings undefeated century took all of 201 balls. It was the type of innings that defined Kallis, and which South Africa thoroughly depended on, as the Proteas went on win the Test by 160 runs. 173: 1st Test v India, Nagpur 2010

South Africa’s Test team had undergone massive changes, in mindset and some personnel, by the time the Proteas had arrived in India in 2010. Kallis had now for a while not occupied his traditiona­l No 3 position, which was now the domain of the impressive Hashim Amla. The move down the order was meant to free Kallis up a bit, to allow him to express himself much more. The pair loved batting together, with Amla now the rock which South Africa built their innings around, and posted a 340run partnershi­p for the third wicket. Kallis contribute­d 173, but had to wait a little while longer for that much-sought after doublecent­ury. 201*: 1st Test v India, Centurion, 2010

When it comes to statistics, Kallis has few peers in the game – modern or indeed yesteryear. He compares favourably with the best batsmen ever, the best bowlers ever, and has more catches than most players ever to play Test cricket. The one glaring omission, though, was always the elusive double ton. His previous best, 189* against Zimbabwe, stood out like a sore thumb among the great players of the game. This, however, all changed in a glorious first Test against India at Centurion when Kallis removed the albatross that had hung over his neck for such a long time. 161, 109: 3rd Test v India, Cape Town, 2011

Newlands first caught a glimpse of a young Kallis during the annual Proteas Assurance Challenge Charity Match against the old Transvaal. Kallis had just matriculat­ed from Wynberg Boys’ High, and immediatel­y impressed before the knowledgea­ble Cape Town cricket public, who knew they had witnessed the birth of a superstar. And despite moving to the Eastern Cape for a brief period, Kallis has always enjoyed batting under the watchful gaze of Table Mountain. These two innings illustrate­d this best. He scored a magnificen­t 169 in the first innings, and despite struggling with a back strain, kept the Proteas second innings together with his mate Mark Boucher and ensured South Africa did not lose their first home series to India.

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