South African cricket January 13, 2011

South Africa's two greatest cricketers

Cricinfo
From Adam Wakefield, Australia
95

From Adam Wakefield, Australia


Jacques Kallis has matched Graeme Pollock's achievements © AFP
 

Cricket, as a sport, has a habit of indulging itself in its own legend. Players are elevated above mere mortal status to something divine, something Bradmanesque as it were, where their influence on the game goes way beyond the boundary ropes of their personal selves.

South Africa is no stranger to such musings. One name especially stands out as the man who inspired those in South Africa as Tendulkar does today in India. Graeme Pollock is his name, a player recognised internationally as one of the best batsmen to ever play the game. He had the second highest Test average (of those who had scored more than 2000 Test runs). He used to hold the record for the highest score by a South African and is part of the Pollock dynasty that has given so much to the South African cause over the years.

Today, South Africa has yet another cricketer who should be classed in Pollock's elite company. Jacques Kallis has never felt the full affection of the South African public, for reasons ranging from being perceived as aloof at the crease to batting to slowly. For one reason or another, Kallis never received the praise that he deserved, and only now, as the twilight of his career approaches, are South Africans waking up to how good he really is, and how much a hole he is going to leave in their national side when he eventually hangs up his well worn boots.

Kallis made his debut when Allan Donald and Shaun Pollock were still figuring out how best to work together, Hansie Cronje was captain and Dave Richardson wicketkeeper. He is a physical embodiment of South Africa's cricket history after re-admission, just by being there most of the time in person. He, along with Mark Boucher, are the last of that generation of cricketers in the 1990s who were tasked with forging South Africa's image in the world game.

Greatness is always difficult if not near impossible to see at the passing moment. In the present, we lack the foresight which allows us to put an individual’s achievements in context. Once put in context however, and weighed against the deeds of his or her peers, only then is it plausible to label a player 'a great'. Kallis' achievements are so immense, and his way of playing the game so pure (technically speaking), that along with Tendulkar and Ponting, will be canonized as a saint of the modern game, a man who batted in a way which survived the Test of time.

The reasons Kallis and Tendulkar have been able to continue excelling to a level even past most of their younger contemporaries is because their techniques allow them to do so. Even when they have struggled, as both have done at times in their distinguished careers, their technique has gotten them through. The fact Tendulkar and Kallis were the leading run getters in the recently concluded series between their two sides, in conditions toda in the most part, underlines this fact.

Kallis has also disproved the old adage that he bats at too slow a pace. He recently scored his quickest Test century, and has upped his strike rate in the five-day format significantly. And being selfish? If it weren't for his efforts in Cape Town, South Africa would have lost the series. Harbhajan Singh, known as a fiery character but not one to shy away from expressing himself, told media before the final day in Cape Town that he hadn't seen many bat like Kallis did that day. King Kallis, as he is known at Newlands, put on a batting masterclass which will be seen as one of his better Test innings.

He further sealed his reputation by scoring his maiden double-hundred at Centurion, an achievement which in some weird way finally ensures his transition from very good to great. When Jacques Kallis comes to the crease, South Africa breathes a sigh of relief. He has been the ultimate fire-fighter, assassin and strangler for them for 15 years, and he still has a couple more seasons in his body. But when he does eventually decide to go, at the moment he walks off Newlands (it will be there) for that final time, that is when we will feel his absence, a feeling as powerful as sadness, happiness and fear. By George we are going to miss him. He has earned our affections hundreds of times over, and is finally getting the admiration he deserves.

Graeme Pollock and Jacques Kallis are the greatest cricketers South Africa has ever produced. It's simple as that.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • rattlehead on February 27, 2011, 22:47 GMT

    @Dinesh R your last statement that Tendulkar has sc ored runs everywhere, check his average against RSA.

  • kelvin on February 18, 2011, 8:31 GMT

    Everyone forgets Trevor Leslie Goddard he was a batsman and a first class bowler captain and some of the best catches ever taken in the slips. He scored more 90 than any one I have heard of, That was his draw back, he always went out in the 90's great allrounder.

  • Vizo on February 17, 2011, 11:13 GMT

    Cricket is a game where you need people who can bowl bat and field. Kallis does it all and he does it brilliantly. He is the greatest and most complete cricketer ever. We not gonna see another Kallis for the next 20 to 30 years atleast.

    When he eventually retires its gonna be a very sad time for not only SA but the world

  • mahjut on January 24, 2011, 13:15 GMT

    This is more at cricfan24 than anything else (our conversation was unfinished). You said that others (and quoted specifically, Dravid and Ponting) had glory days in the mid-2000s. My point was that Kallis found his feet in about 99 and it's been exponential since then - no mid 2000 'peak', in fact he's got better every year with the last possibly being his best and this year has started pretty well too. Only Sachin follows this trend; Dravid, Ponting and Lara faded a little at the end. I was never comparing Kallis with Sachin but you have now convinced me that i should ... your analogy of *knowing* a sprinter is better not a good one but the one place it can be applied is that it is harder (despite timeings) to compare sprinters over different times. Kallis and Sachin did not have similar contexts so you would have to lay out a criteria to be convincing in your arguement that their is Great...and great can be divided into top rung and second rung. Sachin has achillies too!!

  • Athol Henwick on January 22, 2011, 22:56 GMT

    I am always bemused by the perception that Kallis has not received the praise or acclaim due to him. Certainly in the circles in which I move we have long acclaimed him one if the greats. It has always been my perception that the English media have had it in for Kallis and have compared him to lesser lights like Flintoff and co. and so the perception has been that he has not been well thought of but I think that these perceptions exist mainly outside of SA where we have sat by and watched others receive the praise which we have long since thought Kallis deserves (Ricky Ponting was crowned as the most influential cricketer of the 90s I think, ask Saffers what they think of that).

  • pp.bose.53 on January 22, 2011, 6:48 GMT

    Apart from the points raised by Adam in the article above,I would like to emphasize that both Kallis and Tendulkar have another great similarity apart from both being superlative batsmen:their wonderful and successful to the one day format of the game.In modern times we talk of good Test players and good shorter format players.Here are two men who have both excelled in both forms and have taught the newer generation of batsmen how it is done.No praise can be high enough for these to pillars of batting technique.

  • Mike on January 21, 2011, 19:54 GMT

    Barry Richards was on a plane above mere mortals, -- elegant, powerful, effortless, and technically the finest opening batsman I ever saw. Comparisons between the greats are particularly odious. Kallis is a magnificent all-rounder, -- probably the best SA has ever produced -- but even his formidable batting skills have never approached the sublime levels of Richards and Graeme Pollock.

  • Fatboyslim on January 21, 2011, 3:56 GMT

    I do not agree with the closing statement. I am an Indian and I believe that Kallis is the greatest cricketer to have played the game-not only in South Africa and certainly Graeme Pollock is no competition-great as he is.

    He might not be the most attractive batsman when he is playing, but in terms of delivering the good, King Kallis never fails. Had he been born in India, he would have been GOD possibly rivaling Tendulkar.

    Cheers!

  • Dinesh R on January 21, 2011, 1:19 GMT

    Kallis being compared to Tendulkar??? What Rubbish! Jacques Kallis has one man to thank for his success & his name is Sachin Tendulkar! Why, you may ask? Because he changed his technique & modelled 'his' batting on SRT.I can point out when this occurred. It was during the 2000/01 season when India toured SA. Tendulkar scored a century in the 1st test at Bloem. When JHK came out to bat, his entire technique had changed. It was a carbon copy of SRT's. Even the straightening of the bat upon backlift. Tendulkar has since cut out the walk across the stumps but JHK benefited from learning from the grand master of batting as his record shows since that series. Video's from that series can prove me correct. Maybe Cricinfo can have a look and confirm. Kallis is merely a student and Tendulkar is the teacher - Kallis will never be in SRT's class! For me Pollock & Richards are SA's best ever cricketers. FYI Francois, Tendulkar has scored runs everywhere & against the best - not only flat wickets.

  • Sefal Khan on January 21, 2011, 1:02 GMT

    I wonder if Pollock's average would be same as Kallis if he palyed the same number of tests as Kallis? Who knows - Pollock may have faded away half was through. My point is Kallis is way better than Pollock for his longevity and still maintaining such a high average plus don't forget his number of wickets and catches in both formats. We keep hearing Pollock Pollock Pollock - yes Pollock may have been good but not as good as Kallis. Kallis is extremely under-rated cricketer. Cricket is a game of numbers and on numbers Kallis is better than Sobers also.

  • rattlehead on February 27, 2011, 22:47 GMT

    @Dinesh R your last statement that Tendulkar has sc ored runs everywhere, check his average against RSA.

  • kelvin on February 18, 2011, 8:31 GMT

    Everyone forgets Trevor Leslie Goddard he was a batsman and a first class bowler captain and some of the best catches ever taken in the slips. He scored more 90 than any one I have heard of, That was his draw back, he always went out in the 90's great allrounder.

  • Vizo on February 17, 2011, 11:13 GMT

    Cricket is a game where you need people who can bowl bat and field. Kallis does it all and he does it brilliantly. He is the greatest and most complete cricketer ever. We not gonna see another Kallis for the next 20 to 30 years atleast.

    When he eventually retires its gonna be a very sad time for not only SA but the world

  • mahjut on January 24, 2011, 13:15 GMT

    This is more at cricfan24 than anything else (our conversation was unfinished). You said that others (and quoted specifically, Dravid and Ponting) had glory days in the mid-2000s. My point was that Kallis found his feet in about 99 and it's been exponential since then - no mid 2000 'peak', in fact he's got better every year with the last possibly being his best and this year has started pretty well too. Only Sachin follows this trend; Dravid, Ponting and Lara faded a little at the end. I was never comparing Kallis with Sachin but you have now convinced me that i should ... your analogy of *knowing* a sprinter is better not a good one but the one place it can be applied is that it is harder (despite timeings) to compare sprinters over different times. Kallis and Sachin did not have similar contexts so you would have to lay out a criteria to be convincing in your arguement that their is Great...and great can be divided into top rung and second rung. Sachin has achillies too!!

  • Athol Henwick on January 22, 2011, 22:56 GMT

    I am always bemused by the perception that Kallis has not received the praise or acclaim due to him. Certainly in the circles in which I move we have long acclaimed him one if the greats. It has always been my perception that the English media have had it in for Kallis and have compared him to lesser lights like Flintoff and co. and so the perception has been that he has not been well thought of but I think that these perceptions exist mainly outside of SA where we have sat by and watched others receive the praise which we have long since thought Kallis deserves (Ricky Ponting was crowned as the most influential cricketer of the 90s I think, ask Saffers what they think of that).

  • pp.bose.53 on January 22, 2011, 6:48 GMT

    Apart from the points raised by Adam in the article above,I would like to emphasize that both Kallis and Tendulkar have another great similarity apart from both being superlative batsmen:their wonderful and successful to the one day format of the game.In modern times we talk of good Test players and good shorter format players.Here are two men who have both excelled in both forms and have taught the newer generation of batsmen how it is done.No praise can be high enough for these to pillars of batting technique.

  • Mike on January 21, 2011, 19:54 GMT

    Barry Richards was on a plane above mere mortals, -- elegant, powerful, effortless, and technically the finest opening batsman I ever saw. Comparisons between the greats are particularly odious. Kallis is a magnificent all-rounder, -- probably the best SA has ever produced -- but even his formidable batting skills have never approached the sublime levels of Richards and Graeme Pollock.

  • Fatboyslim on January 21, 2011, 3:56 GMT

    I do not agree with the closing statement. I am an Indian and I believe that Kallis is the greatest cricketer to have played the game-not only in South Africa and certainly Graeme Pollock is no competition-great as he is.

    He might not be the most attractive batsman when he is playing, but in terms of delivering the good, King Kallis never fails. Had he been born in India, he would have been GOD possibly rivaling Tendulkar.

    Cheers!

  • Dinesh R on January 21, 2011, 1:19 GMT

    Kallis being compared to Tendulkar??? What Rubbish! Jacques Kallis has one man to thank for his success & his name is Sachin Tendulkar! Why, you may ask? Because he changed his technique & modelled 'his' batting on SRT.I can point out when this occurred. It was during the 2000/01 season when India toured SA. Tendulkar scored a century in the 1st test at Bloem. When JHK came out to bat, his entire technique had changed. It was a carbon copy of SRT's. Even the straightening of the bat upon backlift. Tendulkar has since cut out the walk across the stumps but JHK benefited from learning from the grand master of batting as his record shows since that series. Video's from that series can prove me correct. Maybe Cricinfo can have a look and confirm. Kallis is merely a student and Tendulkar is the teacher - Kallis will never be in SRT's class! For me Pollock & Richards are SA's best ever cricketers. FYI Francois, Tendulkar has scored runs everywhere & against the best - not only flat wickets.

  • Sefal Khan on January 21, 2011, 1:02 GMT

    I wonder if Pollock's average would be same as Kallis if he palyed the same number of tests as Kallis? Who knows - Pollock may have faded away half was through. My point is Kallis is way better than Pollock for his longevity and still maintaining such a high average plus don't forget his number of wickets and catches in both formats. We keep hearing Pollock Pollock Pollock - yes Pollock may have been good but not as good as Kallis. Kallis is extremely under-rated cricketer. Cricket is a game of numbers and on numbers Kallis is better than Sobers also.

  • mr82 on January 20, 2011, 18:28 GMT

    The analysis is poor...Very harsh on Barry Richards, I feel many grate players missed out...But JK is a class player in the current batsmen list. He did so much to SA when needed. An example for an all-rounder. Powerful player. No doubt he will be remembered for a long time in the World of Cricket..

  • Ali Khan on January 20, 2011, 12:54 GMT

    As a big pakistani fan. i have to admit that out of all the players around the world, Kallis is by far the hardest wicket to take. He has such authority at the crease and im sure every south african fan feels reassured when he is batting, bowling or even jus standing in slips.Top player!!!!

  • MTC on January 20, 2011, 10:12 GMT

    Let's face it, he has been under-rated his whole career, until now. As for comparing him to past batsman is a waste. We always presume those iconic batsman who only played a fraction of the modern test players would maintain their form and remain injury-less over the same period. Yes, they were great, but do comparisons really work? I think we should celebrate Kallis for his achievements. His record speaks for itself. Like him or not, he is a legend of the game.

  • Anonymous on January 20, 2011, 7:05 GMT

    Yes, he's great and one of the two most underrated players I have seen. More or less the same average as Sobers (57). Add 270 wickets - not many have done that. On paper, they have achieved about the same.

    The other is Shaun Pollock - batting average of 32 and bowling average of 23.

    Two of the greatest all rounders of all time. Both would have been a shoe-in in the great Aussie side.

  • Ammar on January 20, 2011, 4:46 GMT

    Should have fitted barry Richards somehow in the topic, anyways I am happy to see that people r now realising the greatness of Kallis. Infact Kallis's name should be mentioned with sobers and bradman. My alltime best cricketers r Kallis and Imran Khan along with Bradman.

  • Krump on January 20, 2011, 2:44 GMT

    In response to Anonymous, taking your logic to its conclusion, there can never be any player called one of "South Africa's greatest" because some players (you've named two) were precluded from fulfilling a career in international cricket. Further, the last sentance is not an 'argument' it's a statement. It appears your grasp on the english language is as loose as your understanding of the meaning behind the article.

  • Jimmers on January 20, 2011, 0:20 GMT

    I don't think there are many "great" players in the world game today, but Kallis is most assuredly one of them.

  • Fabian on January 19, 2011, 22:21 GMT

    As a Pakistani I support any team/body who gives back to the game what the game has given them.There are just too many names to mention, both past and present to list on here but because this article is about Kallis I will say a few words on this amazing player. There have been many who have questioned his strike rate and hunger for personal records over success of the team. All I have to say to those people is look at the guys records.He has put in match-winning performances and has got South Africa out of trouble so many times.The only reason his strike rate was slow-ish was because he knew HIS was the key wicket and he couldn't afford to play rash/loose shots.I see this as being responsible, not selfish!! Since Hashim Amla and Devilliers have been performing it has allowed him to open up and showcase the talent we all know he has. Jacques you are a great. If the dictionary could have pictures next to words - Then yours would be next to CONCENTRATION amongst other things.Thank you JK

  • Khan. on January 19, 2011, 14:37 GMT

    KALLIS should go down the history as one of the greatest test batsman and as a West Indian, i will pick him as THE GREATEST allrounder. I pick him above Sobers, because Sober didn't play one day cricket, but we have all seen KALLIS proved himself in all format of the game.

  • N. Subramanian on January 19, 2011, 13:56 GMT

    Kallis did bat slowly initially and even today, he is no hurricane despite all those runs in his kitty, but selecting shots with care and the balls to play them off is what makes for great Test-match batting. So ingrained is the habit in him that facing the team's need to declare its second innings early and try for a win a Test against the Windies at home, Kallis was his usual serene self. The commentators saw the declaration coming; the crowd urged Kallis to speed up; sitting thousands of miles away, I willed him to step on it; but Kallis went his usual watchful way. The declaration came with Kallis needing 15 to get to a personal milestone. Kallis chose to deny to himself a century in each innings, and it would have been the first in his career, but with his careful 85, he did give SA a declarable score. Assessment of Kallis' batting gets enhanced above Tendulkar's if we take into account the number of wickets he has taken and the physical effort he has spent batting and bowling.

  • metman on January 19, 2011, 13:16 GMT

    Kallis,Tendulkar,Lara, all selfish batsmen in their own right!,Viv Richards and Sobers ,ball beaters from day 1, who did't care about records and av.Would pay any amount of money to watch Viv and Gary,also G.Pollock , Ponting and Barry Richards.Kallis and Tendulkar will continue to play this cat and mouse and catch up game in their selfish quest for records and improving av.,each one looking to see who would retire first!One is 35 the other 37.

  • Vishrut on January 19, 2011, 13:00 GMT

    For me Kallis is great but Sachin is greatest.

  • Lwandile on January 19, 2011, 11:36 GMT

    kallis is the greatest, 1 can argue that his slow. But mind you tht cricket cames with patient.compare his runs and wickets, he is the greatest cricketer SA ever produce.

  • iPRO on January 19, 2011, 11:28 GMT

    if Donald would have taken that single then probably Klusener would have also featured in best SA list

  • Jakes on January 19, 2011, 10:13 GMT

    greatness is only confirmed when comparing to others who have gone before and then what would the criteria be? - if it were up to me then i'd consider things like pitch conditions, equipment, intentions(if it can be confirmed), attitude, selflessness(putting the COUNTRY FIRST-its not a team!), then maybe stats and i say MAYBE because lowly opposition JUST doesn't count!,and ALSO if stats are used to point out critical data! check how many innings of note were played when it mattered most ie.in the second innings! ALL THINGS CONSIDERED - KALLIS MAY BE KING OF THE STATS BUT THAT'S WHERE IT ENDS!!

  • VoiceOfReason on January 19, 2011, 10:00 GMT

    How will we know Kallis and Graeme Pollock were the best ever if we can't measure them against Saait Magiet?

  • landl47 on January 19, 2011, 4:46 GMT

    Kallis is a wonderful player and certainly deserves to rate with the best of all time. Kallis' runs and wickets over a long period speak for themselves. The only criticism of him is that, in an entertainment profession, he isn't very entertaining. However, if I had to choose a player to rely on, he'd be very close to the top of the list.

  • Metman on January 18, 2011, 19:12 GMT

    @Louis,Yes !he has 4000 more runs than Sobers,but he also played 52 more tests than Sobers.Sobers also bowled 3,262 more balls than Kallis,an average of 39 overs per test as against Kallis's 21.Yet he still av.57.78 with the bat.Kallis plays for records and to improve his av.Sobers just liked to "beat" bowlers.Kallis scored his first double at age 35.Sobers scored most of his runs at number 6.His first century was at no.3,at age 21,and was a world record 365 n.o.As an allrounder,Sobers is ahead of Kallis.Sobers was a 3 in 1 bowler,and a batsman who didn't have the comfort of a helmet,and the modern technology.He also had the burden of captaincy,yet despite all of those,look at his stats.

  • nanda soobben on January 18, 2011, 12:17 GMT

    I saw all of them..Kallis is great at saving the the Proteas like Dravid would do for India..but for sheer genius he comes nowhere near Pollock,Richards and Proctor !!

  • Royden on January 18, 2011, 10:47 GMT

    Pollock may be the best batsman SA has produced and the jury is out on our bowlers and keepers, but there can be no doubt that Kallis is our best cricketer. Bat - Bowl - Field done at the highest standard.

  • sam on January 18, 2011, 8:49 GMT

    I couldn't find any words to praise JHKallis. The way he is playing and contributing to CSA is immense. I would like to watch him playing for many years to come.

  • hayden on January 18, 2011, 8:36 GMT

    i am a west indian fan but for years i have held jacques kallis as my favorite cricketer peope keep ignoring the facts...he is one of the greats....i'd dare to say not only for south africa but world wide.......he is technically the most correct batman i have every seen plus he has his fair share of test wickets as well ..........both a tower of strength and reassurance at the crease even more so.... on the field.

  • Francois on January 18, 2011, 7:38 GMT

    Take into account that Kallis scored 50% of his test runs in SA where the pitches are much more difficult than in India and the subcontinent. He maintains his average while the 4 best bowlers in history were playing (Murali, Warne, Kumble and McGrath). He is the greatest ever.

  • pedpathpres on January 18, 2011, 6:14 GMT

    There just cannot be any question about it -- Kallis is the best all rounder that SA has produced, and the comparisons with Sobers are not at all inappropriate. I am an Indian supporter , and always wanted to see Kallis get out in 2004, because when he was dismissed the rest of SA batting seemed relatively ordinary and easy wickets to get. Yes he has his critics , but 40 centuries in Tests around the world seems to tell me that he can bat. This is NOT a critique of Barry Richards or Graeme Pollock -- they are unquestionably great batsmen too... the apartheid era and all the supporters of that regime need to be blamed not just for the atrocities perpetuated by that policy , but also for depriving South Africans of all racial origins of their right to develop their potential.

  • Jon Allcock on January 18, 2011, 0:03 GMT

    JHK deserves this praise as he is a wondeful cricketer in any era. Ian Chappell came to South Africa in 1967 and 1970 with the reputation of bing the best batsman in the world. He was found out by some great SA bowlers like Peter Pollock, Mike Proctor, Trevor Goddard, Eddie Barlow, Pat Trimborn et al. And the Aussies lost both series, the last one 4-0, Ian Chappell has not had a decent thing to say about SA cricketers since then. Shame on him! Kallis is a great of the game and he has been enjoyed by cricket lovers all of the world, Aussies included. Cricket lovers should appreciate greatness no matter which country it comes from.

  • Simon on January 17, 2011, 19:49 GMT

    Undoubtedly deserves to be classed as one of the top-three batsmen in the modern game in recent times alongside Tendulkar and Ponting. The fact that he also has nearly 300 wickets bowling at a fair old lick just adds to his already immense contribution to the game. Could we in England interest you South Africans in a swap deal? Pietersen for Kallis?

  • Vilander on January 17, 2011, 19:20 GMT

    Yup, welcome to the masterclass King Kallis.

  • Charlie on January 17, 2011, 17:18 GMT

    When it comes to comparing batting averages across eras, it is fair to adjust them by either increasing the BH (before Helmets) averages by around 10 or decreasing the AH (after Helmets) by ~10. Then the real greatness of Graeme Pollock, Sobers, Richards comes into perspective.

  • Adnan on January 17, 2011, 5:23 GMT

    "No batsman price his wicket high and no wicket is as cost as Kallis"... is the true statement.I have seen many batsman in last 2 decades.I have simply to say that Kallis is the best cricketer of all time.Many says that he is selfish,slow...etc but plz pick my opinion that we r comparining him with sachin,ponting and even with dravid.....Truth is that sachin bats more freely as they have most powerful and reliveable batting order as always(Azhar,ganguly,dravid,sunil,now viru,laxman,gambir,raina,yuvraj and so on ) again ponting had boon,mark and steve waugh,law,bevan,now a days he had gili,hyden,hussey,clerk,langer,slatter etc, but look at the silent worrier kallis,his has found not enough authority and never feel so relax when he goes to crease everytime,he has the burden in his shoulder to take his team in a good position,build a innings, to hold the team everytime....Now tell me if any one have any confusion who was the most successful. ..it is "JHK "the worrior of all format of game

  • Phil on January 16, 2011, 22:04 GMT

    Lots of comments above comparing Kallis to Sobers ... chalk and cheese. Sobers is one of Wisden's five cricketers of the century not only because of his world-class record, but because of his presence: his supreme panther-like athleticism makes him almost unique. Now look at JHK: panther he is NOT. But his record stands comparison with Sir Gary. JHK in the last 15 years has been the most underrated player in world cricket. I'm English and my team until recently has been ground into the dust by JHK more times than I care to remember. But credit where it's due.

    Sobers was Mozart, Kallis is Beethoven. Let's not compare.

  • ndayananda on January 16, 2011, 18:52 GMT

    Assuming numbers don't lie! - a preface in any standard statistics book -'lies, lies and statistics'

    And comparing Kallis to Sobers and Pollock (or whomsoever) is like saying Carl Lewis was better than Jesse Owens (incidentally both won 4 olympic gold medals, in different eras) - pure indulgence and grotesque.

    Sometimes so easy to lose the plot- Cricket is a sport for gods sake. And sport is about excitement, trying to get across a line, about the endorphine buzz. It is orgasmic as sex- and not singing around trees ( like romance- for the uninitiated)

    Sobers declared with the intent to win- he got the juices going, even if he lost. He exuded the confidence of WANTING to win. Pure Genius- in terms of spirit of sportsmanship. like wise Viv, G Pollock, Barry Richards, et al. Kallis batting- same as getting the scores from Cricinfo- you know who won or lost- NIL excitement.

    In terms of outcomes(winning medals) same with Tendulkar. and Ponting sits on 3 world cup titles on his CV!

  • David Meyer on January 16, 2011, 18:40 GMT

    How can you possibly compare Kallis with Barry Richards?

    Richards was a superb batsman, but how many wickets did he take for South Africa? Likewise Graeme Pollock.

    No question about it, Kallis is SA's greatest player and one of the world's best ever all rounders!

  • John on January 16, 2011, 7:47 GMT

    You cannot speak about the greatest South African cricketers and leave out Barry Richards. He might not have the figures to back up such a claim, but if you ever had the pleasure of seeing him bat you will know what I mean. In a lifetime of watching the game I have never seen a better batsman.....truly a genius!

  • addy's_passion on January 15, 2011, 23:30 GMT

    Well hats off!! for KING KALLIS. he is really unsung hero of world cricket, the person who have awesome record as compare to his decade best batsmen and also a supporting bowler as well.A complete cricketing legends of recent times with in the list of Wasim Akram,Tendulkar,shane warne, Murli,Ponting,Pollock and Lara. If someone has a very technical style of batting its not means that he is "selfish" or so on.. if so i will consider tendulkar the biggest "selfish" cause except recent times when india was down in ranking tandulkar also playin at that times and scoring. In ODIS i find tendulkar all centuries waste cause he score but team not win cause he not play with situation. he play not a team's inning.As an individual KING KALLIS we WILL miss u .

  • John on January 15, 2011, 21:37 GMT

    I hope to see John Ward's name amongst the greats of cricket. Nobody ever said that the worlds best cricketers were perfect. They performed better than the rest. Jacques Kallis is the greatest, not because I say so, but all you need to do is look at the stats and that great game played with injury in Cape Town and the century in each innings. In order to criticize a player be better. The other names mentioned are all really great and I take my hat off to them. The man under discussion is King Kallis - hail king Kallis

  • Venkatesh on January 15, 2011, 16:55 GMT

    It is unfair to separate 2 players as the greatest from a distinguished group. Since SA was deprived of test cricket for 2 decades, we have to use other proxies for Test cricket. The greatest all-rounder of the 70s was Mike Proctor and he is often off everyone's radar - only Sobers could compare with him - Imran, Botham and Kapil Dev (in that order) were way behind in feats. Faulkner, Nourse, Richards, Barlow, Van Der Bijl, Bland, Proctor, P. Pollock, Rice are but a few of a list of greats. Proctor, Richards and Pollock's feats against Australia need to be seen in the context of the Aussie side that was exhausted even before the tour began, as it came after a gruelling India tour. Nevertheless, if you remove the helmet factor of the last 20 years (and adds 10-15 runs to a batsman's overall average), I would rank Richards above G.Pollock and Kallis, and Proctor as a better all-rounder than Kallis - period.

  • Chris on January 15, 2011, 15:02 GMT

    The argument about who is the greatest is fun but ultimately just a matter of opinion and there is no right or wrong. While I only saw the TV highlights, Kallis's 2nd 100 at Newlands had moments of pure genius in it - and that's not a word I thought I'd use to describe Kallis. The succession of reverse sweeps when viewed in the context of the game and innings as well as the intense pressure, were stupendous. I saw quite a bit of Pollock's batting in the twilight of his career and he was just a joy to behold. Unfortunately I didn't see much of Richards but against the 1970 Aussies and later in the Packer series he proved his greatness against international opposition.

  • Vasin on January 15, 2011, 12:28 GMT

    Saffers, Be frank. Kallis camps and sleeps at the wicket; however after getting noticed with that century in 97 he was not able to camp longer and regularly against Oz. Barry was good but not as good as Viv; just compare their pulls, cuts and drives; stroke for stroke; Viv gets into position to whack much quicker; Barry would bring the bat down laboriously to keep his pulls down; Viv relied on timing with almost a horizontal swing of the bat; also compare the balance after completing the stroke; Viv was superior. Pollock was more consistent but clearly much less talented than Viv; Viv was like a new car ready to accilerate immediately. Don't bring in Viv Richards when talking about Mundane Kallis not King Kallis. Viv Richards is the second greatest batsman. Bradman the Greatest.

  • Brendan on January 15, 2011, 12:03 GMT

    Mr Editor, lovely article. But you mention Graeme Pollock as one of your 2 best South African cricketers. Fair do's on Pollock who played a handful of games against 3 countries and achieved that average. Would that average be attainable in todays game against the sub-continent countries? I dont think so. I would also just like to point out SA missed out on so many generations of Ntini's and Amla's. We have seen the class from these 2 great SA cricketers. Also a pity you did not mention Basil d'Oliviera, who undoubtedly was and is England's best South African import.

  • dr imran on January 15, 2011, 10:26 GMT

    he z ofcourse a great cricketer but south africa will be number 1 only when kallis leaves the side otherwise i think they will stay chokers

  • Peeyush yadav on January 15, 2011, 8:15 GMT

    jacques Kallis can be easily accepted as thrid best allrounder in history of test cricket after Imran khan and Sobers. Imran was greatest becuase he performed great against best team (west indies) of his time, against arch rival India and won the world cup from nowhere. Imran running and bowling was a sight for God Imran Khan>Sobers>Kallis> kapil, botham, hadlee. Miller

  • ayub khan on January 15, 2011, 4:25 GMT

    I have gone through the above noted notes and have read them, I can say only this that Jacques Kallis is one of the best all rounder of present time,no one has his talent in present day cricket. One should remember that a legend is not born in every years,it is once in a decade.so Great King Kallis is legend of this decade.

  • Dean on January 15, 2011, 3:50 GMT

    Pollock was a genius and our fathers talk of him as if he could walk on water. Another was Vince van der Bijl, who had a first class average of 16 yet might as well be a ghost.

    Its only outside South Africa the world can call him a "great South African cricketer", but still not call him one of the games greats! His achievements are incredible and the lack of credit he has been given over the years is nothing short of shameful. If the man was English or Australian we would never hear the end of it and how ESPN managed to exclude him from both world sides is something I still cannot understand.

    Idiots like Chappel forget that Kallis played a lot of his cricket in a South African side that struggled through long patches. We always had bowlers but were always a bit thin when it came to batting. If he was fortunate enough to play in Australia, that average would have been over 60.

  • Lourens Grobbelaar on January 14, 2011, 20:46 GMT

    My mom spoke to my 4 yr old daughter over the phone and asked her if Daddy was watching cricket. She said: Daddy is watching King Kallis. Of course he wasn't playing, but I taught her well. All hail King Kallis!!!

  • Lourens Grobbelaar on January 14, 2011, 20:44 GMT

    Thanks for the article Adam. It is great to have a non-South African say it out loud, since these tend to be the most unbiased opinions. There was a great article in SA Cricket Magazine in beginning of 2007 about how Kallis performed as nr3. those days in tests and how often he had to come in almost as an opener and how often he saved test for SA from that position. One can also look at his 100's he has scored. 19 in games won, 18 in games drawn, and only 3 in games lost by SA. Kind of says a lot. If he was slow it was for the team, because he could have showcased himself if he wanted to, and lost many games for SA. His strike rate in ODI's the last yr was over 90, and the last 3 yrs about 89, in tests over 50. He has changed his game, another hallmark of a great player. In the series against India he was dismissed once by a blinder, once by luck and once by playing a different game with tail in Cape Town. On a pitch made for the bowlers, who are you going to call: King Kallis!!!

  • sudip on January 14, 2011, 18:40 GMT

    The reason why Kallis is ranked below the very best batsmen is because he never got the better of the Aussie attack regularly enough (as Tendulkar and Lara did) when they were at their peak. Also he struggled against Flintoff in seaming conditions in England. I know he played well in the recent series against India in difficult conditions but that was at home and against inferior bowling. None of the world's great bowlers over the last 15 years has ever quite put Kallis at the top of the list. Tendulkar and Lara did it against better bowling attacks than Kallis while Ponting was just more dominating. Kallis is a great player but I'm not surprised he wasn't in Cricinfo's first or second world elevens. He doesn't have the aura of Sobers or Imran

  • Smahuta on January 14, 2011, 18:07 GMT

    Kallis is the greatest cricketer ever, not just south african, the whole world over. He keeps getting better and better. Its a pity Barry Richards never got a proper test career, and Im certainhe owuls be up there with the best batsmen in the world, but nobody comes close to Kallis contribution on the field with bat, ball and in the slips. He is a man in his own league as cricketer.

  • STEF MR CRICKET on January 14, 2011, 17:40 GMT

    The reason Kallis doesn't get the credit he deserves is because he comes across as a charisma-free zone. Statistically he's up there with the best.Best allrounder of all time. Still think he's a bit aloof and unloveable.

  • Bajib on January 14, 2011, 17:10 GMT

    The man who scored almost 23000 runs and took 500+ wickets in Test and ODIs is truly a legend, the game has ever produced. It was real disappointment that he never got the ovation that he should have got.He didnot even featured in the cricinfo all Time TestXI second lot. Now, when he scored his 40th test ton to surpassed Ponting,he is being recognized as the greatest cricketer. Hands up!!! Long Live King Kallis...

  • Srini on January 14, 2011, 15:39 GMT

    Kallis will be in the top 3 greatest SA cricketers for a long time to come given the fact that he plays and is successful in all 3 forms of game which puts so much strain on the body as he is a fast bowling all rounder. No one except Gary Sobers comes even close in the greatest all rounders list. Hope he stays healthy for another 2/3 yrs and scale more heights in the batting dept atleast.

  • John Ward on January 14, 2011, 15:39 GMT

    Generally I agree, but regarding Kallis's selfishness, I remember that he has stolen at least three of his Test centuries. Against Zimbabwe, Bangladesh and West Indies (so he couldn't make the excuse his team needed him to stay at the crease), Kallis has been given not out by the umpire for edging catches to the keeper that have been detected by technology, and refused to walk, going on to a century each time.

  • Omar Hussain on January 14, 2011, 15:28 GMT

    I have seen both Bary Richards and Graeme Pollock play: Barry was certainly a great first-class cricket batsmen who had a brilliant first Test series against an average Australian attack whom Pollock smashed all over the place.In 1970 both played against England for the Rest Of The World XI where Sobers reigned supreme while Pollock had a medicore series and Barry Richards couldn't click against John Snow and co.Both batsmen sadly never played in the sub-continentbut Kallis has played maginficently all over the world and is in my opinion more deserving as cricket's all time greats than Richard.Pollock on the other hand had done enough by the time SA were barred from international cricket to be rated the greatest SA batsman in history .

  • SENGANAL on January 14, 2011, 14:53 GMT

    Kallis is Greatest cricketer of all time.. He is the best not only in South Africa but in the entire cricketing world, neither Sachin nor Bradman can match his allround efforts.. Look at the amaizing career record of Kallis it refelects his greatness not only with the bat but also with the fielding and bowling.. Kallis is a true Warrior, Great cricketer, a legend..

  • Gaurav on January 14, 2011, 12:26 GMT

    i believe kallis is not only the best player in southafrica but the greatest player the game has ever seen.I rate him above tendulkar too all hail the fine specimen of classic all-rounder

  • Warren on January 14, 2011, 8:46 GMT

    Still the criticism’s come. Let's answer them

    1) Bats to slow

    His test strike rate is 46, Allan Borders's was 40, Dravid's is 42, “Mr. Cricket” Mike Hussey is 47. Strike rate is no argument as we all know there are legends of the game that have lower strike rates.

    2) He is selfish

    Since he joined the side South Africa have pretty much been the number two side in the rankings for close on 15 years. Recently owning number one and currently flirting with number one. That’s more consistent than India, England, West Indians and Pakistan. Only reason they were never number one is that they ran into probably the greatest Aussie side in history during that period.

    Does anyone really believe that if he had been less "selfish" things would have been different? This man averages 57 in a career of Warne and Murali, only Sachin can touch that. It is indecent, dismissive and almost xenophobic for the world to continue dismissing him. If he was Aussie he would be perched with Bradman

  • chris on January 14, 2011, 7:03 GMT

    watching graeme pollock made me love cricket. watching barry richards was a beautiful, astonishing experience. watching jacques kallis makes me proud to be a - long-expat - south african. he is the embodiment of the new south africa, a sportsman for a sports-mad country. as another contributor remarked, he may have been dissed over the past 15 years, but not in, and by, south africans. we are so going to miss him when he goes, maybe lobby for 12, or even 13 players in a side to make up the shortfall - but, thanks to his new hair, maybe we can keep a remarkable man going for a few more years

  • partha on January 14, 2011, 6:54 GMT

    kallis is one of the greatest cricketer of all time........his defence technique is as solid as dravid and laxman.........in my opinion he is above sir garfield sobers in all-rounder list.........

  • Louis on January 14, 2011, 6:46 GMT

    To all those who reckon that Kallis is "almost as good as Sobers". Look at the stats:

    Kallis has scored 4000 more test runs at the same average as Sobers and has taken more wickets at a better average than Sobers.

    The stats don't lie.

  • Louis Strijdom on January 14, 2011, 6:22 GMT

    That Kallis is mentioned among South Africa's best of all time is not enough. I would even go further than to say he might be the most valuable cricketer ever to have walked the earth. There is only one man on the planet who have scored more than 11 000 runs, taken more than 250 wickets and taken more than 100 catches IN BOTH FORMATS OF THE GAME.

  • Damo on January 14, 2011, 5:47 GMT

    If he was an aussies people would say kalis is the greatest cricketer in the history of the game .... if he was Indian he would be the god of cricket and not sachin!!!!! but because he is South African he did not get the recognition he deserves !!! He is a true King

  • Pud on January 14, 2011, 4:38 GMT

    All hail Sir Jaques, I agree with Zak, that along with Dravid, the best defence of the last decade maybe two. More of a batting all-rounder than the greats of the 80's except for a young Beefy, but his stats and averages compare very well to Sobers who is the benchmark. Hope to see him on the beautiful Adelaide Oval again before he retires.

  • Mad Hamish on January 13, 2011, 23:23 GMT

    Other names in contention for South Africa's best Faulkner, A.D.Nourse, Adcock, Donald

    in terms of allrounders Kallis and Sobers have very strong claims to be the best batting allrounders, Miller, Imran Khan and Faulkner stand out in terms of balanced allrounders and then there are the bowlers who bat a bit.

    Kallis' slow approach to batting has hurt RSA at times and he definitely could have been more aggressive at times to set them up to win more often but overall he's been immensely valuable.

  • Adam Wakefield on January 13, 2011, 23:02 GMT

    Barry Richards was indeed a great cricketer, but unfortunately due to international isolation, it is very difficult to lift him to the level of Pollock and Kallis in that regard. He certainly was talented enough, and it wasn't his fault he only played three Tests. But that isn't enough time to conclude whether he would have continued in that vain. He certainly could've been, but we will never know.

  • warren on January 13, 2011, 22:58 GMT

    Kallis is he greatest all rounder of all time ... to have a discussion about best crickter is SA does not do him justice. Ian Chappel is notorious for dismissing Kallis, what a snub! Ian averaged 43 .. Kallis 57, and then 270 wickets to boot. Kevin Pieterson has declared him the best ever and its time we acknowledge as much. Statistics don't lie, commentators like Chappel do. Wake up world ... SA generated the greatest all rounder of all time. Just because he isn't from your country doesn't mean he should be overlooked, bottom line is he is the nbest. LONG LIVE KING KALLIS

  • crumbles on January 13, 2011, 22:14 GMT

    A Bajan who thinks Sobers was God's Gift To Cricket: Just as solid as Boycott; even more murderous tha Viv at times. Does anyone forgetSobers him at Bridgetown in 1967, pushin Jef Jones to the boundary with a FORWARD DEFENSIVE STROKE, followed by a square to the fence a wide lifter dispatched with BOTH FEET way of the ground??!!...But Kallis has to be given credit. Figures like that can't be lies. He belongs. South Africa has found it's HAMMOND in him. HE may not be Sobers, but he CAN sit at the same table!

  • Omar Hussain on January 13, 2011, 19:06 GMT

    Good article and a long overdue appraisal of Kallis.And he deserves it.But there have been many other greats like Eddie Barlow,Mike Procter,Shaun Pollock etc who can be classified as the greatest from SA.Definitely Kallis is the best SA all-rounder for the last 2 decades.

  • Manjala Wijenayake-Angammana on January 13, 2011, 18:38 GMT

    He looks likes my Malwenna very beautiful boy. Kallis is good sport boy, I love him. Hope will come to play soon in Galle. I love Pollock as well. Pollock looks like my Upul. Nice boy. Good critors. Good luck for world cup 2011.

  • Chaitanya on January 13, 2011, 17:43 GMT

    "Graeme Pollock and Jacques Kallis are the greatest cricketers South Africa has ever produced. It's simple as that."

    You can't be taken seriously when you leave Barry Richards out of a list of the greatest Saffer cricketers. It's as simple as that.

  • Rick on January 13, 2011, 17:09 GMT

    I think the article is less about denying former players their stake to greatness than arguing that Kallis is infact part of that club too. He's been immense. He is certainly one of the modern greats and I believe his batting has evolved from mainly defensive to a more fluent brand of run scoring. He is still capible of bowling with surprising speed albeit his role seems to be more of a containing one with the ball these days. All in all I thought the article was good and that it had a good point too- that for a very long time many people didn't appreciate Kallis's contribution to the game. Hopefully he can keep his form up and enjoy his time in the sun too.

  • Harsh Thakor on January 13, 2011, 16:44 GMT

    Barry Richards has to be ranked with Pollock and Kallis.No batsman has possibly been as complete since Bradman as Barry Richards who could mercilessly dominate the best of pace bowling with the soundest technical precision ,like a Viv Richards and Sunil Gavaskar rolled into one.Remember Barry's phenomenal double century and century in Packer Cricket when he statistically overshadowed even Viv Richards.

    Graeme Pollock had more batting prowess than any South African batsman,and could pulverize the besr bowling.Had he had afull career he may well have joined Viv Richards or Tendulkar.

    Jacques Kallis is the ultimate batsman to bat for your life .In a crisis he reminds me of Ian Chappell or Javed Miandad,the champion sin acrisis.However his strike rate is relatively low ,and he does not pulverize attacks top win games.

    Overall with his Sobers like allrounder stats Kallis is the best South African cricketer of all,while Pollock is the best batsman.

  • Adam on January 13, 2011, 16:03 GMT

    Very sad that Barry Richards never played more then 4 tests, and even then he scored 500 runs in those 4.

    In regards to Kallis, i have always been a believer in that if you can get him out early, the chances of winning go up by a lot. I remember watching him make his first test 100 at the MCG in 97, thinking, this Kallis kid is the real deal, good defence and solid technique.

    10k+ in tests and ODI, he is the finest modern day all rounder, not only that, but he seems a very humble guy, like Tendulkar, unlike Ponting. Add to the almost 300 test wickets, and SA has a massive gap they are likely to never fill when he retires. As an aussie, even i would dearly love to see him continue, even when he is struggling, he is still capable of a century, as his technique is superb (Evidenced by making an unbeaten 100 in pain)

    He can go down as not only an SA great, but an overall great.

  • riskrao on January 13, 2011, 15:35 GMT

    speaking of SA cricket, legends r plenty. if they had played in the 70's and 80's there would be some 30 players queuing for the top spot of greatest cricketer from SA. KALLIS deserves to be in that elite group. if VIV is the king of 70's and 80's its kallis the KING of modern era! and the fact is the SA team of the 70's is regarded as on of the strongest teams of all-time along with the invincible aussies(1940's & the late 90's - early 00's) & super windies team of 70's & 80's...

  • Garreth Johnson on January 13, 2011, 14:59 GMT

    That is somewhat inaccurate. The criticisms towards Jacques have mostly come outside SA most vehemently from your native country Adam, Australia with the like of Ian Chappell always having something rotten to say. In SA he is a legend. Every kid growing up playing cricket when I was younger (and Im only 24) wanted to be just like Kallis. He always recieves high praise here and always will.

    There are always these comments about South Africans not looking after or appreciating their talent, one in particular, KP, which is nonsense really. He was barely out of his teens when he decided to give up on working his way to the top.

    One point in case is Cricinfo not even putting Kallis in their 2nd XI let alone their first where he rightfully belongs. Ask any Saffer whether they think he deserved to be there or not.

  • Graeme on January 13, 2011, 14:18 GMT

    Even ignoring Punter's recent loss of form, it was a travesty of justice that Kallis wasn't picked as Cricinfo's Cricketer of the decade, precisely because of those 270 wickets. (How many wickets has Ponting got)? Who would bet against Kallis breaching the 300 wicket mark and thus being officially recognised as a bowling great as well... What a champion!

  • james b on January 13, 2011, 13:41 GMT

    The all time Legend if it was up to me ,but its not!It was up to KALLIS HIMSELF TO PROVE IT!He is Technicaly the Best on defence!My Boys is comeing Jyle hes name is goeing to be Kallis!

  • david on January 13, 2011, 13:16 GMT

    kallis is one of the greatest to ever play the game and deserves to rank perhaps just slightly below sobers as the best all-round cricketer ever...I saw sobers, the man was a freak...the most natural and gifted cricketer to ever walk the earth. It is to kallis' immense credit and a tribute to his technique and grit that he has created a record that is comparable to sobers'. I will miss kallis when he is gone, if you know cricket and love the game it is impossible not to appreciate the towering achievments, timeless quality and sheer class of this champion cricketer.

  • guy on January 13, 2011, 12:55 GMT

    Not very harsh on Barry Richards, criminally harsh. Any discussion about great SA cricketers is incomplete without talk about Richards. It's as simple as that.

  • Richard Rogers on January 13, 2011, 12:46 GMT

    I will leave it to South Africans to decide who is their best cricketer. However,if I were to pick a squad of 17 to play any other selection at any time in the last 50 years,Graeme pollock and Kallis would definitely both be in it;and so would Barry Richards!

  • Bala on January 13, 2011, 12:26 GMT

    JHK: Irrpressible impresario...The greatest underrated cricketer of all time

  • Loren Valentyn on January 13, 2011, 12:06 GMT

    Thanks for a well written article about my favourite cricketer. i sincerely hope that when he retires he does so at Newlands cos i have every intention of being there. i have followed his career for the last 15 years and have tried to convince many ppl that he is indeed one of the greats, but this last season he has shown us and all those nay sayers that he is a great. looking forward to still see many more cricket from Jacques Kallis...

  • Erichero on January 13, 2011, 11:53 GMT

    It was only when he scored his 200 that he finally took his seat in the living room of such company. Before then it was always a case of "He's great, but he hasn't got a 200 yet". Now it's simply: "He's great".

    With that weight lifted, note the kind of freedom he's enjoying these days - this is how to wind up a great career, ala Shaun Pollock.

  • cricfan on January 13, 2011, 11:24 GMT

    Very harsh on Barry Richards, I feel...

  • Zak on January 13, 2011, 11:15 GMT

    i grew up watching Kallis in the late nineties and always felt that alongside Dravid, his defense was impregnable. People always will accuse him of batting slowly but it is him being at the crease for long periods that allows others to score and would ofcourse be very reassuring to South African supporters. He is a cricket god in his own right and deserves the same level of appreciation as a Tendulkar or a Sobers.

  • Etienne de Beer on January 13, 2011, 10:10 GMT

    Never a truer word has been spoken. Without a doubt the two greatest cricketers South Africa has ever produced. As a batsman, alone, King Kallis has qualified for such a title, but there's also the small matter of 270 test wickets that he has added. All hail the King.

  • Anonymous on January 13, 2011, 9:45 GMT

    Your closing argument is rubish. How will we ever know if Pollock and Kallis are the greatest that SA ever produced when the likes of Procter and Van Der Bijl were robbed of careers?

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  • Anonymous on January 13, 2011, 9:45 GMT

    Your closing argument is rubish. How will we ever know if Pollock and Kallis are the greatest that SA ever produced when the likes of Procter and Van Der Bijl were robbed of careers?

  • Etienne de Beer on January 13, 2011, 10:10 GMT

    Never a truer word has been spoken. Without a doubt the two greatest cricketers South Africa has ever produced. As a batsman, alone, King Kallis has qualified for such a title, but there's also the small matter of 270 test wickets that he has added. All hail the King.

  • Zak on January 13, 2011, 11:15 GMT

    i grew up watching Kallis in the late nineties and always felt that alongside Dravid, his defense was impregnable. People always will accuse him of batting slowly but it is him being at the crease for long periods that allows others to score and would ofcourse be very reassuring to South African supporters. He is a cricket god in his own right and deserves the same level of appreciation as a Tendulkar or a Sobers.

  • cricfan on January 13, 2011, 11:24 GMT

    Very harsh on Barry Richards, I feel...

  • Erichero on January 13, 2011, 11:53 GMT

    It was only when he scored his 200 that he finally took his seat in the living room of such company. Before then it was always a case of "He's great, but he hasn't got a 200 yet". Now it's simply: "He's great".

    With that weight lifted, note the kind of freedom he's enjoying these days - this is how to wind up a great career, ala Shaun Pollock.

  • Loren Valentyn on January 13, 2011, 12:06 GMT

    Thanks for a well written article about my favourite cricketer. i sincerely hope that when he retires he does so at Newlands cos i have every intention of being there. i have followed his career for the last 15 years and have tried to convince many ppl that he is indeed one of the greats, but this last season he has shown us and all those nay sayers that he is a great. looking forward to still see many more cricket from Jacques Kallis...

  • Bala on January 13, 2011, 12:26 GMT

    JHK: Irrpressible impresario...The greatest underrated cricketer of all time

  • Richard Rogers on January 13, 2011, 12:46 GMT

    I will leave it to South Africans to decide who is their best cricketer. However,if I were to pick a squad of 17 to play any other selection at any time in the last 50 years,Graeme pollock and Kallis would definitely both be in it;and so would Barry Richards!

  • guy on January 13, 2011, 12:55 GMT

    Not very harsh on Barry Richards, criminally harsh. Any discussion about great SA cricketers is incomplete without talk about Richards. It's as simple as that.

  • david on January 13, 2011, 13:16 GMT

    kallis is one of the greatest to ever play the game and deserves to rank perhaps just slightly below sobers as the best all-round cricketer ever...I saw sobers, the man was a freak...the most natural and gifted cricketer to ever walk the earth. It is to kallis' immense credit and a tribute to his technique and grit that he has created a record that is comparable to sobers'. I will miss kallis when he is gone, if you know cricket and love the game it is impossible not to appreciate the towering achievments, timeless quality and sheer class of this champion cricketer.