South Africa has set India 342 to win on the final day of the 3rd and deciding Test in Cape Town. South Africa have one man to thank for that challenging target: Jacques Kallis. King Kallis.
In adding a second innings century to his first innings effort, King Kallis has leap-frogged the deposed Prince Ponting as second highest century maker (41). These twin tons have realised 161 in a total of 362 and 109 out of 341. Without him in this match, even with Steyn’s heroics, South Africa would be buried.
Roebuck today suggested that Kallis is an under rated cricketer. I think what he means is that even though Kallis is highly rated, nobody seems to even consider him as one of the all time greats. However, a glance at his figures would indicate that such consideration is appropriate. He has scored 11,947 runs at 57.42, which puts him right towards the top of the batting tree. Add to that his 270 wickets at 32.01 and surely, those numbers put him up there with the great all rounders. Not just in volumes but in averages. His batting to bowling average ratio is an outstanding 1.79.
Sobers is widely regarded as the best all rounder to have player. Many regard him as the greatest player to walk the planet. His numbers by comparison are 8032 runs at 57.78 and 235 wicket at 34.03 with a ration of 1.70. On stats alone, it is in fact, Kallis by a nose.
So why is Kallis seldom mentioned in the same breath as Sobers. I have one idea and that is that Kallis looks too much like Shrek. He has tried to alleviate that recently by getting a young man’s “do”. Aggers suggested that Kallis is selfish at times – he bats for himself when quick runs are needed. And let’s face it – who would you rather watch – Sobers or the dour Kallis? Also keep in mind that Kallis just scored his first double century while Sobers was the world record holder (365*) for many years and had other large scores, made in the true West Indian style.
But any way you look at it, Kallis is great all rounder and if South Africa wins this series, much of the credit will go to Kallis.
Oh, I’m not avoiding the drubbing at the SCG, due time will be given to that once the knock out is delivered at about 10:30 tomorrow.